Research Department Nutrition and Food Sciences

Gregor-Mendel-Str. 2
85350 Freising

Tel.: 08161/ 71 - 2026
Fax: 08161/ 71 - 2824

email


Food Chemistry and Molecular Sensory Science

lcmsThe chair is dealing with the screening, spectroscopic structure determination, organic synthesis, and quantitative analysis of physiologically active compounds in plant and food materials, their human metabolism, as well as the fundamental understanding of structure/activity relationships. Core research areas are “molecular sensory science”, “bioactive natural products”, as well as “metabolomics”.
As the population of sensory active compounds, coined sensometabolome, is reflecting the sensory phenotype and is triggering the typical smell and taste of food products, the goal of “molecular sensory science” is to identify, quantify, and catalog the sensory active compounds in raw materials and processed foods. The development of healthy food products reduced in sugar, salt, and fat, respectively, or enriched in plant-derived bioactive, health promoting micronutrients, which are claimed to be beneficial for health and well-being of the consumers, induce non-acceptable flavor defects in the products and unexpected flavor challenges for the food industry. In response to the consumer demand for healthy but tasty foods, a core unit of the group deals with the discovery of previously unknown natural taste modulators such as, e.g. bitter inhibitors, sweet and salt enhancers, helping to overcome such flavor challenges associated with fortified or functional foods and beverages.
The area “bioactive natural products” is focussing on the activity-guided discovery and spectroscopic structure determination of natural products.  as well as on analytical studies on the bioavailability and metabolism of functional food ingredients by means of state-of-the-art technologies.

As nutrients are known to alter metabolic functions in vivo, the research area “metabolomics” investigates the influence of food and selected food ingredients on the metabolite profile in humans. Sophisticated NMR techniques as well as HILIC-MS/MS(MRM) methods in combination with stable isotope dilution analysis (SIDA) are being developed for the targeted quantitative analysis of vast number of metabolites in plasma and urine samples even at trace level concentrations. The core competence on metabolite profiling is currently emerging to a comprehensive, analytical mapping of the entire metabolome and will include metabolic flux analyses in the near future.