The Periodic Table of Food Initiative (PTFI) is a multi-sectoral collaborative effort informed by the scientific, academic, health, agricultural, food, and entrepreneurial sectors.

The PTFI is a multi-sectoral, global effort. It includes the following components, which overlap and inform each other:

PTFI has undertaken a global multi stakeholder collaborative process to seek nominations of and select foods from all regions of the world. Dietary importance, geographical diversity and innovation potential are some of the criteria used for the identification and selection of foods. The result of this process is a remarkable collection of the most inspiring foods from every region of the world, which are of great cultural and scientific interest.  PTFI will share results of the work widely.

The PTFI is creating a technical platform for standardized mass spectrometry-based analytical approaches for deep compositional analyses of food including the discovery of new food molecules. It will comprise kits, methods, and data processing services to enable a network of public and private laboratories to analyze thousands of foods around the globe by food composition category. The PTFI is taking a phased approach to the development of kits, informed by the initial inventory of initial foods before expanding it to a broader set of foods from across the world. To develop this technical platform, PTFI is working with reagent manufacturing, mass spectrometry, and data processing companies across the globe.

Data generated by networks of laboratories will be assembled into a large and robust public reference database of food compositions. Once the database is in place, the scientific community and private sector can build on this public resource by adding analyses of additional foods, varieties, and cooking methods. PTFI has developed a database management strategy and consulted key stakeholders in this process.  The Secretariat in collaboration with partners are working on implementing the database strategy, building on the American Heart Association’s Precision Medicine Platform– a cloud-based technology solution that enables the global medical research community to accelerate breakthroughs in cardiovascular and brain diseases.

Benefit sharing is a core component of the PTFI impact pathway. We are developing guiding principles and a framework for access and benefit sharing, so that technology, data and insights from PTFI are accessible to wider stakeholders and countries. PTFI will comply with applicable access and benefit sharing (ABS) agreements. PTFI will generate and  share benefits with stakeholders from developing countries through partnerships, training and technology transfer both during the development of the database and afterwards.

Food analyses will be informed by a common approach to sample collection and access to materials for the network of laboratories participating in the network.  The PTFI has developed a sample management strategy, a key framework guiding collection, storage, and shipping of food samples, and management of metadata associated with them.

The PTFI will issue requests for proposals (RFPs) for demonstration projects that can answer global questions around food, nutrition, and health utilizing the technical platform and PTF data to demonstrate its revolutionary nature. The selected projects will be aligned with the interests and strategies of the Funders Consortium, relevant to a diversity of approaches and audiences with scalable results and impacts. PTFI Centers of Excellence will play a key role in identifying and implementing demonstration projects.