The Periodic Table of Food Initiative (PTFI)

A collaborative effort to enable data-driven solutions to improve human and planetary health by unlocking food composition data and making them globally accessible

Our Vision

A vision to transform contributions of food diversity to human health and food systems sustainability.

Food is at the center of the world’s most urgent challenges and largest opportunities. Given advances in the quality and cost of mass spectrometry, omics technologies,  machine learning and big data, along with the growing recognition of the important health impacts of food, the time is ripe for the PTFI.

The PTFI will strengthen and support ongoing work by developing low-cost mass spectrometry kits, standards, methods, cloud-based analytical tools, and a public database that will include a quantitative and qualitative analysis of most important foods for people and the society that are representative of geographic and cultural diversity worldwide. Once the database is in place, the scientific community and private sector can build on this public resource by adding analysis of additional foods, varieties, and cooking methods. The PTFI technical platform will enable conditions for a rapid acceleration in research and innovation in both the public and private sectors.

The map of food: why we need a world atlas of what we eat

Thus far in the 21st century, we’ve come to take for granted feats such as delivering items to remote locations via drone, and the even more extreme delivery of tourists into space. What once seemed possible only in comic books seems to become closer to reality every day. Yet at the same time, problems that have plagued humankind throughout history are getting worse. The list starts with the most basic need of all: Food.

Funding Partners

Partners and members of the PTFI Funders Consortium are the Rockefeller Foundation, the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR) and Seerave Foundation. PTFI welcome interested funders to join the Consortium to set strategy and to shape priorities for investment to generate public goods for impact.








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“A database that captures and quantifies the molecular content of food will revolutionize the agriculture, food and health sectors. Once in place, this publicly accessible database will be the greatest single knowledge asset in the history of food.”
Bruce German, Professor and Chemist, University of California Davis
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The PTFI is a collaborative effort that will enable conditions for rapid acceleration in research and innovation.


The PTFI will help address global challenges in public health, regenerative agriculture, nutrition, environment and more.

Core Team

The Core Team provides support to collaboratively design and implement the PTFI.