PhD defence: Discovery of novel biomarkers of fruit intake by untargeted metabolomics

Natalia Vázquez Manjarrez 

PhD thesis

The intake of fruits is a cornerstone for a healthy diet. However, several questions regarding the impact of specific fruits in human health remain unanswered. In this regard, the main obstacle to overcome is the inaccuracy of dietary assessment in human studies. To tackle this, the use of specific metabolites that arise in biofluids after the consumption of specific fruits, as proxies of exposure constitutes a more objective tool.

This thesis aimed to identify and validate biomarkers of intake of over 20 different fruits including the most consumed; apple, banana, and tomato. For this, a twofold strategy was applied. First, a systematical review of the literature was performed to obtain already published biomarkers of different fruits. Then, experimental work using mass spectrometry was executed to discover urinary biomarkers of banana and tomato in urine samples of subjects recruited for a randomized control trial. The discovered biomarkers of the different fruits were then validated for their use in nutritional research according to a previously published panel of biological and analytical criteria. 

2019, 274 pages.


27 September 2019, 13:00


Auditorium A1-01.01, Festauditoriet, Bülowsvej 17, Frederiksberg.


Associate Professor Jens Rikardt Andersen (chair), Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports, University of Copenhagen, Denmark.

Professor Lorraine Brennan, School of Agriculture and Food Science, University College Dublin, Ireland,

Professor Nils Færgeman, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Southern Denmark, Denmark.

Main supervisor

Professor Lars Ove Dragsted, Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports, University of Copenhagen, Denmark.


Dr. Claudine Manach, Human Nutrition Unit, Clermont-Ferrand Auvergne INRA, Université Clermont Auvergne, France.

The thesis is available for inspection at the library, Nørre Allé 51, DK-2200 Copenhagen N.