Last week from 20th to 21th of May Tartu hosted Eurachem yearly workshop with the topic of “Validation of targeted and non-targeted methods of analysis”. These two days were filled with exciting presentations, insightful discussions and joy of meeting new and old friends and collaboration partners.
What is happening in the field of non-targeted analysis?
Eurachem is known for its well designed and explained validation guidelines for quantitative targeted analysis in the field of analytical chemistry. Still, the world is turning and non-targeted analysis are increasingly helping us to answer the emerging research questions. This was also exclusively seen in the conference. among others, Dr. Martin Alewijn and Dr. David Thompson demonstrated how fingerprinting analysis can be used to detect food fraud; Prof. Jon Benskin and Prof. Juliane Hollender showed some amazing applications in the field of environmental monitoring, and Prof. Gunda Köllensperger and Prof. Georgios Theodoridis presented the state of the art non-targeted analysis methods in the field of metabolomics. During these two days, it became obvious that non-targeted analysis is becoming increasingly applied in all fields. One of the biggest surprises for me was the presentation by Dr. Alewijn where he was able to show an in-house road map for method validation for non-targeted methods; most notably, the method presented is currently under accreditation. According to my knowledge, this might eventually become the first accredited non-targeted analysis method.
What can metrology do for non-targeted analysis?
Also, the working group sessions were insightful, from the discussion in the group “Validation of a non-target method: a practical approach” one of the most important take-home messages was that metrology concepts need to catch up with the evolution of non-targeted methods fast. The current gaps exist in all levels, starting from the vocabulary and reaching to the lack of reference materials. There is a huge need to start fixing these issues fast.
Our contribution to the field of non-targeted analysis
From our group, Jaanus presented a poster and a flash talk on a collaborative trial between the University of Tartu and Technical University of Denmark for quantitative non-targeted analysis of pesticides in cereals. Anneli presented the latest results for quantifying the metabolites from green tea samples without standard substances. We are very thankful for everyone for sharing their thoughts over the two days.