The Development of the Davis Food Glycopedia—A Glycan Encyclopedia of Food

Juan J. Castillo, Garret Couture, Nikita P. Bacalzo, Ye Chen, Elizabeth L. Chin, Sarah E. Blecksmith, Yasmine Y. Bouzid, Yael Vainberg, Chad Masarweh, Qingwen Zhou, Jennifer T. Smilowitz, J. Bruce German, David A. Mills, Danielle G. Lemay, Carlito B. Lebrilla

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The molecular complexity of the carbohydrates consumed by humans has been deceptively oversimplified due to a lack of analytical methods that possess the throughput, sensitivity, and resolution required to provide quantitative structural information. However, such information is becoming an integral part of understanding how specific glycan structures impact health through their interaction with the gut microbiome and host physiology. This work presents a detailed catalogue of the glycans present in complementary foods commonly consumed by toddlers during weaning and foods commonly consumed by American adults. The monosaccharide compositions of over 800 foods from diverse food groups including Fruits, Vegetables, Grain Products, Beans, Peas, Other Legumes, Nuts, Seeds; Sugars, Sweets and Beverages; Animal Products, and more were obtained and used to construct the “Davis Food Glycopedia” (DFG), an open-access database that provides quantitative structural information on the carbohydrates in food. While many foods within the same group possessed similar compositions, hierarchical clustering analysis revealed similarities between different groups as well. Such a Glycopedia can be used to formulate diets rich in specific monosaccharide residues to provide a more targeted modulation of the gut microbiome, thereby opening the door for a new class of prophylactic or therapeutic diets.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1639
Issue number8
StatePublished - Apr 1 2022


  • complementary foods
  • diet
  • dietary carbohydrates
  • fiber
  • food composition
  • library
  • microbiome
  • monosaccharide
  • polysaccharide
  • triple quadrupole mass spectrometry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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