Table 1

Comparison of targeted and untargeted metabolomics platforms

FeatureTargetedUntargeted
Number of metabolites detectedSpecific subset (usually <25 per run)Typically ∼500 reproducible known compounds and ∼2,500 unknown compounds in human plasma
IdentificationIndividual isotope-labeled standards or authentic compoundsLibrary and software based
QuantitativeYesNo
Data analysis timeMinimal (a typical experiment with two groups of n = 10/group and 20 analytes takes 2–3 days)Significant (a typical experiment with two groups of n = 10/group takes 4–6 weeks)
Orthogonal technique required for confirmationNoYes