Comprehensive multidimensional gas chromatography can adequately resolve very complex mixtures of analytes such as the fatty acid mixtures which are contained in, e.g., fish and vegetable oils. Well-ordered patterns are obtained in the two-dimensional separation plane which can be used to tentatively identify peaks when no standard is available. The technique which can also be used for quantification, i.e., quantitative ratio analysis, should be especially useful for fingerprinting purposes. Unravelling the composition of complex mixtures such as fish oils appears to be highly rewarding. © 2001 Published by Elsevier Science B.V.