Epidemiological research has demonstrated that the consumption of red meat is an important risk factor for the development of colorectal cancer (CRC), diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular diseases. However, there is no holistic insight in the (by-) products of meat digestion that may contribute to disease development. To address this hiatus, an untargeted mass spectrometry (MS)-based metabolomics approach was used to create red versus white meat associated metabolic fingerprints following in vitro colonic digestion using the fecal inocula of ten healthy volunteers. Twenty-two metabolites were unequivocally associated with simulated colonic digestion of red meat. Several of these metabolites could mechanistically be linked to red meat-associated pathways including N'-formylkynurenine, kynurenine and kynurenic acid (all involved in tryptophan metabolism), the oxidative stress marker dityrosine, and 3-dehydroxycarnitine. In conclusion, the used MS-based metabolomics platform proved to be a powerful platform for detection of specific metabolites that improve the understanding of the causal relationship between red meat consumption and associated diseases. © The Author(s) 2017.