Wageningen Food Safety Research uses Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) to analyse samples sent by the Agricultural Inspectorate of the Ministry of Agriculture (IOD). NMR is also used for metabolomics, the study of the unique chemical fingerprints that specific cellular processes leave behind.

IOD samples

The IOD regularely sends Wageningen Food Safety Research samples which have to be analysed by means of NMR. The samples  can be anything ranging from powders to liquids and ‘empty’ syringes and other objects which can be commonly found in fields and farms. These substances are subjected to a broad analysis, since the composition of the substance is usually not known.

Comparison to reference substances

The substances are compared to 700 reference substances. If the substance does not match our database Wageningen Food Safety Research will investigate the substance further using NMR and MS.


The NMR is also used for metabolomic analysis. In this procedure, the profiles of the contents of agricultural products or cell systems are empirically compared to each other with the help of sophisticated software. Any interesting signals which are obtained this way are subsequently identified according to type of substance.