Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Food Reconstruction Using Isotopic Transferred Signals (FRUITS): A Bayesian Model for Diet Reconstruction

Fernandes, R.; Millard, A.R.; Brabec, M.; Nadeau, M.-J.; Grootes, P.

Food Reconstruction Using Isotopic Transferred Signals (FRUITS): A Bayesian Model for Diet Reconstruction Thumbnail


R. Fernandes

M. Brabec

M.-J. Nadeau

P. Grootes


Human and animal diet reconstruction studies that rely on tissue chemical signatures aim at providing estimates on the relative intake of potential food groups. However, several sources of uncertainty need to be considered when handling data. Bayesian mixing models provide a natural platform to handle diverse sources of uncertainty while allowing the user to contribute with prior expert information. The Bayesian mixing model FRUITS (Food Reconstruction Using Isotopic Transferred Signals) was developed for use in diet reconstruction studies. FRUITS incorporates the capability to account for dietary routing, that is, the contribution of different food fractions (e.g. macronutrients) towards a dietary proxy signal measured in the consumer. FRUITS also provides relatively straightforward means for the introduction of prior information on the relative dietary contributions of food groups or food fractions. This type of prior may originate, for instance, from physiological or metabolic studies. FRUITS performance was tested using simulated data and data from a published controlled animal feeding experiment. The feeding experiment data was selected to exemplify the application of the novel capabilities incorporated into FRUITS but also to illustrate some of the aspects that need to be considered when handling data within diet reconstruction studies. FRUITS accurately predicted dietary intakes, and more precise estimates were obtained for dietary scenarios in which expert prior information was included. FRUITS represents a useful tool to achieve accurate and precise food intake estimates in diet reconstruction studies within different scientific fields (e.g. ecology, forensics, archaeology, and dietary physiology).


Fernandes, R., Millard, A., Brabec, M., Nadeau, M., & Grootes, P. (2014). Food Reconstruction Using Isotopic Transferred Signals (FRUITS): A Bayesian Model for Diet Reconstruction. PLoS ONE, 9(2), Article e87436.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Dec 26, 2013
Online Publication Date Feb 13, 2014
Publication Date Feb 13, 2014
Deposit Date Feb 13, 2017
Publicly Available Date Feb 14, 2017
Journal PLoS ONE
Publisher Public Library of Science
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 9
Issue 2
Article Number e87436


Published Journal Article (438 Kb)

Publisher Licence URL

Copyright Statement
© 2014 Fernandes et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

You might also like

Downloadable Citations