Leibniz-Institute for Food Systems Biology at the Technical University of Munich
Natural products and metabolite systems
Structural decoding of bio-functional food effector signatures
Chemosensory Systems
Structural decoding, functional reconstruction
and modulation of complex food flavors
Chemoreception and biosignaling
Activity and biosignal coding of foodborne effector systems
on chemosensory biosystems
Chemoreceptor-mediated immune responses
Chemoreception, signal transduction and gene regulation
of the cellular immune system
Functional biopolymer systems
and food hypersensitivities
Fundamental mechanisms of celiac disease,
wheat sensitivity and wheat allergy

After 99 years of successful scientific work as 'Deutsche Forschungsanstalt für Lebensmittelchemie' (German Research Centre for Food Chemistry), the institute now operates since 7th September 2017 as the new Leibniz-Institute for Food Systems Biology at the Technical University of Munich. These 100 years mirror the development of food and nutrition research in Germany in the 20th and 21st century. Initially, the primary mission of the institute was to create new knowledge to alleviate the effects of war-induced food shortages and to improve nutrition for the population. Today, the institute uses cutting-edge methods of biomolecular research combined with bioinformatics and high-performance analytics to study the complex interplay between food ingredient systems and human physiology. The scientists strive to align food ingredient signatures and their functional profiles with the nutritional needs, the sensory preferences, and the acceptance of consumers. The institute’s research delivers the basis for new concepts, products, and technologies to contribute to the sustainable production of sufficient amounts of health-promoting and tasty food. In addition, the newly acquired knowledge gives new impulses for the development of personalized nutrition concepts. For example, these concepts will help people with food intolerances to stay healthy without restrictions in their quality of life. more...

Leibniz-Institute for Food Systems Biology
 at the Technical University of Munich (Leibniz-LSB@TUM)

Global resources dwindle while the global population continues to grow. The increasing scarcity of resources and the prevalence of lifestyle and nutrition-associated diseases call for a more sustainable production of sufficient food in the future. Food quality must please the palates and habits of the various populations, while functional ingredient profiles must meet nutritional and health requirements. The development of promising approaches and effective technologies aimed at nourishing the growing global populations require an entirely new and comprehensive systems-oriented understanding, which comprise the complex and interrelated systems of biologically relevant ingredients from raw materials via customized food products to the physiological interactions with the human organism.

Therefore, the strategy of the Leibniz-LSB@TUM targets the elucidation of structure-function relationships in complex systems of biofunctional food ingredients. These are to be harvested from alternative raw materials (such as algae) and process side streams and, by using resource-efficient technologies, are transformed into final food products comprising tailored profiles of  biologically active effector molecules to stimulate nutritionally relevant metabolic and physiological processes (effector systems research). The institute will decode the translational principles of complex biological effector signatures in individualized activation patterns of biomolecular target structures (receptors, ion channels, enzymes) and signal transduction as well as gene regulation processes in gastrointestinal cells and the cellular immune system (blood cells). This is expected to spark new strategies for personalized nutrition concepts, and to contribute to a better understanding of the dynamics underlying people's eating habits. 

Leibniz-LSB@TUM comprises a unique research profile at the interface of food chemistry & biology, chemosensors & technology, and bioinformatics & machine learning. This profile has grown far beyond the previous core discipline of classical food chemistry. With special focus on the understanding of the biological function of complex effector signatures, the institute spearheads the development of FOOD SYSTEMS BIOLOGY. It comprises a unique research environment, in which chemists, biologists, nutritionists, microbiologists, biotechnologists, informaticians and mathematicians collaborate in teams to establish this interdisciplinary field of research as an own discipline.

Main Research Topics

The overall scientific strategy of the Leibniz-LSB@TUM is geared towards three core fields of research:

Research Sections

The organizational structure of the Leibniz-LSB@TUM comprises three research sections. According to the core research fields, these sections address interdisciplinary research questions by means of a systems biology approach:

Core Technology Units

Complementing the three research sections, two core technology units contribute significantly to the success of major research projects: