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In order to perform an accurate quantification of the features in a metabolomic analysis, a data normalization step is generally required. The objective of normalization is to remove undesired systematic biases, so that only biologically relevant differences are present in the data. This procedure is crucial when analyzing complex biofluids like blood, where the differences in metabolite concentration between samples can be high, and the introduction of internal standards is complicated.
(Alonso et al., 2015) Analytical Methods in Untargeted Metabolomics: State of the Art in 2015. Front Bioeng Biotechnol