Motivation: The analysis of high-throughput molecular data in the context of metabolic pathways is essential to uncover their underlying functional structure. Among different metabolic pathway concepts in systems biology, elementary flux modes (EFMs) hold a predominant place, as they naturally capture the complexity and plasticity of cellular metabolism and go beyond predefined metabolic maps. However, their use to interpret high-throughput data has been limited so far, mainly because their computation in genome-scale metabolic networks has been unfeasible. To face this issue, different optimization-based techniques have been recently introduced and their application to human metabolism is promising. Results: In this article, we exploit and generalize the K-shortest EFM algorithm to determine a subset of EFMs in a human genome-scale metabolic network. This subset of EFMs involves a wide number of reported human metabolic pathways, as well as potential novel routes, and constitutes a valuable database where high-throughput data can be mapped and contextualized from a metabolic perspective. To illustrate this, we took expression data of 10 healthy human tissues from a previous study and predicted their characteristic EFMs based on enrichment analysis. We used a multivariate hypergeometric test and showed that it leads to more biologically meaningful results than standard hypergeometric. Finally, a biological discussion on the characteristic EFMs obtained in liver is conducted, finding a high level of agreement when compared with the literature.