Metabolomic/metabonomic technologies can be classified into one of two categories: Mass Spectrometry (MS) and Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR).
MS is an analytical method comprised of an ion source, a mass analyzer, and a detector that is capable of measuring the mass-to-charge ratio of ions in compounds of a sample. The required sample preparation will affect the physical properties of subsets of the small molecules comprised in a sample; however, it is highly sensitive and when complemented by alternate MS-based technologies can provide a more comprehensive overview of the metabolome.
Want E.J., Nordstrom A., Morita H., Siuzdak G. From Exogenous to Endogenous: The Inevitable Imprint of Mass Spectrometry in Metabolomics. Journal of Proteome Research, 2007, 6(2), 459-468
NMR is an analytical method with numerous applications that enables the detection of subatomic and structural information of molecules and demands little sample preparation. It is rapid, requires almost no sample preparation and is a non-destructive analysis; however, it has low sensitivity and provides limited information about chemical identity.
Nicholson J.K., Lindon J.C., Holmes E. Metabonomics': understanding the metabolic responses of living systems to pathophysiological stimuli via multivariate statistical analysis of biological NMR spectroscopic data. Journal of Proteome Research, 1999, 29(11), 1181-9
Some of the common platforms used for metabolomics/metabonomics/ metabolite fingerprinting are the following: