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Metabolomics has developed into a major tool in functional genomics and plant systems biology. The various methods used for metabolomic analysis will be discussed from the analytical methods back to the preanalytical phase and the biological experiment. Particularly aspects of the preanalytical phase of the analysis is dealt with, including the risks of artefact formation with the various commonly used solvents. Metabolomics is like a snap shot, and conclusions from dynamic systems must be drawn with great care as demonstrated with a biosynthetic study of salicylate in Catharanthus roseus cell cultures.