DNA based methods play an increasing role in food safety control and food adulteration detection. Recent papers show that high resolution melting (HRM) analysis is an interesting approach. It involves amplification of the target of interest in the presence of a saturation dye by the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and subsequent melting of the amplicons by gradually increasing the temperature. Since the melting profile depends on the GC content, length, sequence and strand complementarity of the product, HRM analysis is highly suitable for the detection of single-base variants and small insertions or deletions. The review gives an introduction into HRM analysis, covers important aspects in the development of an HRM analysis method and describes how HRM data are analysed and interpreted. Then we discuss the potential of HRM analysis based methods in food analysis, i.e. for the identification of closely related species and cultivars and the identification of pathogenic microorganisms.