Scientists of the Leibniz-LSB@TUM study the biological functions of sensory active and nutritious food ingredient systems and trace their effect on the human organism. To achieve this, chemists, biologists, engineers, informatics, and sensory scientists collaborate across their scientific disciplines – and they never run short of exciting news.
New study resolves long-standing controversy: Heavy water tastes sweet
As the results of an Israeli-Czech-German collaborative project show, heavy water (deuterium oxide) tastes sweeter than normal water. Additionally, the new data prove for the first time that heavy water activates the human sweet receptor and also enhances the sweetness of sweeteners. The study helps to resolve a controversy sparked by a 1935 Science publication based on a self-experiment by an American Nobel laureate. It also paves the way for further research that will help to understand sweet taste perception at the molecular level. Dr. Maik Behrens from the Leibniz Institute for Food Systems Biology at the Technical University of Munich was also involved in the study.
Publication: Ben Abu N, Mason PE, Klein H ... Behrens M, Niv MY, Jungwirth P (2021) Commun Biol 4, 440, DOI: 10.1038/s42003-021-01964-y. Sweet taste of heavy water. https://www.nature.com/articles/s42003-021-01964-y
Diet shapes taste perception - What can be learned from bloodsucking bats?
Vampire bats feed exclusively on the blood of their victims. This has apparently shaped their taste perception. The animals lack taste sensors for sweet and umami. For bitter substances, however, they have some remaining receptor types, which argues for their usefulness. As a new study by Leibniz-LSB@TUM now shows, the three bitter sensors that are conserved among all bloodsucking bat species are very similar to human ones. Among other things, they detect magnesium sulfate (Epsom salt). This is a salt that has therapeutic benefits in small doses or, when consumed in the form of special table salt (pan salt), is supposed to help lowering blood pressure. Ingested in excess, however, it leads to heart and digestive problems. The study results therefore once again suggest that the taste receptors for bitter minerals are highly conserved and therefore nutritionally relevant.
Publication: Ziegler F, Behrens M (2021) Proc Biol Sci, DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2021.0418. Bitter taste receptors of the common vampire bat are functional and show conserved responses to metal ions in vitro
What brings olfactory receptors to the cell surface − "Zip codes" for odor sensors identified
A team of scientists led by Dietmar Krautwurst from the Leibniz Institute for Food Systems Biology at the Technical University of Munich has now identified address codes in odorant receptor proteins for the first time. Similar to zip codes, the codes ensure that the sensor proteins are targeted from inside the cell to the cell surface, where they begin their work as odorant detectors. The new findings could contribute to the development of novel test systems with which the odorant profiles of foods can be analyzed in a high-throughput process and thus could be better controlled.
Publication: Kotthoff M, Bauer J, Haag F, Krautwurst D (2021) FASEB J, 35: e21274. DOI: 10.1096/fj.202000182RR. Conserved C-terminal motifs in odorant receptors instruct their cell surface expression and cAMP signaling. http://dx.doi.org/10.1096/fj.202000182RR
Now published: Research Report 'Advancing Science for Food & Health'
Biennial report of the Leibniz Institute for Food Systems Biology at the Technical University of Munich.
Freising, March 16, 2021
With this bilingual report (German/English) we not only provide exciting insights into our science and research, but also report on important events in 2018 and 2019.
Bitter receptor involved in anti-inflammatory effect of resveratrol?
Freising, March 02, 2021
Resveratrol is a plant compound found primarily in red grapes and Japanese knotweed. Its synthetic variant has been approved as a food ingredient in the EU since 2016. At least in cell-based test systems, the substance has anti-inflammatory properties. A recent collaborative study by the Leibniz Institute for Food Systems Biology at the Technical University of Munich and the Institute of Physiological Chemistry at the University of Vienna has now shown that the bitter receptor TAS2R50 is involved in this effect. The team of scientists led by Veronika Somoza published its results in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.
New high-throughput methodology for odor-active compounds
Scientists at TUM and Leibniz-LSB@TUM have developed a new methodology for odor-active compounds of carbohydrate-rich foods. It can be used to quickly and easily detect and quantify substances in high throughput that are formed by heat exposure or due to enzymatic reactions and contribute, for example, to the scent of basmati rice or popcorn. The new methodology is characterized by straightforward sample preparation, small sample volumes (0.5 g), and the incorporation of ultra-high performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (UHPLC-MS/MS) analysis.
Publication: Bösl M, Dunkel A, Hofmann TF (2021) J Agric Food Chem, 69(4):1405-1412, DOI: 10.1021/acs.jafc.0c07144. Rapid, high-throughput quantitation of odor-active 2-acetyl azaheterocycles in food products by UHPLC-MS/MS.
From Coelacanths to Humans−What Evolution Reveals about the Function of Bitter Receptors
To evaluate the chemical composition of food from a physiological point of view, it is important to know the functions of the receptors that interact with food ingredients. These include receptors for bitter compounds, which first evolved during evolution in bony fishes such as the coelacanth. What 400 million years of evolutionary history reveal about the function of both fish and human bitter receptors was recently published in the journal Genome Biology and Evolution by a team of researchers led by the Leibniz Institute for Food Systems Biology at the Technical University of Munich and the University of Cologne. Read more...
Publication: Behrens M, Di Pizio A, Redel U, Meyerhof W, Korsching SI (2020) Genome Biol Evol, evaa264, DOI: 10.1093/gbe/evaa264. At the root of T2R gene evolution: Recognition profiles of coelacanth and zebrafish bitter receptors
The sound of coffee
Pilot project of the WESOUND GmbH and the Leibniz-LSB@TUM
Coffee is pure magic - invigorating and calming at the same time, inspiring and a complex taste experience. As self-confessed coffee lovers, the WESOUND GmbH is excited about the cooperation with the Leibniz Institute for Food Systems Biology at the Technical University of Munich on the topic of "coffee". In a pilot project, WESOUND focused its attention on the sensual perception of enjoying a good cup of coffee and interpreted it artistically.
Close your eyes and stop time for a brief moment with the Sound Mood - ahhh, pure coffee bliss. ;-)
At the turn of the year
The Leibniz-LSB@TUM wishes everyone happy holidays and a good start into 2021.
Excellent master's thesis
Sarah Jöstl was awarded the 2020 WIG Study Prize by the Weihenstephan Institute for Grain Research for her master's thesis "Alpha-Amylase Trypsin Inhibitors in Processed and Unprocessed Foods from Wheat, Barley and Rye". The prize is endowed with 1,000 euros and was awarded at the meeting of the WIG Research Advisory Board on December 1st, 2020. The Leibniz-LSB@TUM congratulates.
Biomolecules as data storage−New approach makes data storage with artificial DNA cheaper
The genetic information is stored in cells in huge biomolecules called deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA). For several years, researchers have been investigating whether these molecules are also suitable for the permanent storage of completely different information, e.g. Mozart's music or scientific data. The advantage of this type of data storage is obvious: DNA has an incredibly high storage capacity and can be stored for a very long time if stored correctly. However, DNA storage has the disadvantage that it is very expensive. An international team of scientists, including Prof. Mark Somoza from Leibniz-LSB@TUM, has now found a way to reduce the cost of this type of data storage.
You can read how it works here: Antkowiak PL, Lietard J, Darestani MZ, Somoza MM, Stark WJ, Heckel R, Grass RN (2020) Nat Commun, DOI: 10.1038/s41467-020-19148-3. Low cost DNA data storage using photolithographic synthesis and advanced information reconstruction and error correction
Sweet taste reduces appetite?
Freising, November 10, 2020
To date, very little is known about how sweetness perception contributes to satiety. This study, conducted by an Austrian-German team led by chemists Veronika Somoza and Barbara Lieder, provides new insights into the relationship between the sweet taste of sugar, energy intake and the regulatory process of hunger and satiety. The study was published in the journal „Nutrients“.
Publication: Schweiger K, Grüneis V, Treml J, Galassi C, Karl CM, Ley JP, Krammer GE, Lieder B, Somoza V (2020) Nutrients, 12(10): 3133, DOI: 10.3390/nu12103133. Sweet taste antagonist lactisole administered in combination with sucrose, but not glucose, increases energy intake and decreases peripheral serotonin in male subjects
Modern channel research on grapevines
Aquaporins are proteins that form channels in the cell membrane to facilitate the membrane passage of water and some other small molecules. In plants these channels can be divided into five subgroups. An international team of scientists has now studied the interior architecture of an aquaporin found in grapevines to learn more about the molecular function of such channels. Dr. Antonella Di Pizio from Leibniz-LSB@TUM was also involved in the structural bioinformatic analysis.
Publication: Sabir F, Di Pizio A, Loureiro-Dias MC, Casini A, Soveral G, Prista C (2020) Inter J Mol Sci, 21(18), 6697, DOI: 10.3390/ijms21186697. Insights into the selectivity mechanisms of grapevine NIP aquaporins
Tracking down allergens - wheat genes are crucial
Amylase trypsin inhibitors (ATIs) are proteins that are naturally found in both ancient and modern wheat species. They are among the most important wheat allergens and are suspected of causing non-celiac gluten sensitivity or intensifying other inflammatory reactions. A team of scientists led by Prof. Dr. Katharina Scherf has now developed a new analytical approach at Leibniz-LSB@TUM, that enables the quantitation of the 13 most important ATI variants in grain samples. Using this method the team showed that wheat genes and thus the wheat species influence the ATI content of the cereal flour more than the growing conditions. Einkorn, in particular, has the lowest ATI content, whereas spelt is the ATI-richest, if you compare both types of grain with emmer, bread and durum wheat.
Publication: Geisslitz S, Longin CFH, Koehler P, Scherf KA (2020) Sci Rep, DOI: 10.1038/s41598-020-71413-z. Comparative quantitative LC-MS/MS analysis of 13 amylase/trypsin inhibitors in ancient and modern Triticum species
Funding: Projects AiF 18355 N and AiF 19924 N. This IGF Project of the FEI was supported via AiF within the program for promoting the Industrial Collective Research (IGF) of the German Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi), based on a resolution of the German Parliament.
Dr. GPCR Podcast Episode 12#:
Using computational pharmacology to understand chemosensory GPCR function ‒ Interview with Dr. Antonella Di Pizio
In this episode of the Dr. GPCR podcast, we meet with Dr. Antonella Di Pizio, an independent research group leader at the Leibniz-Institute for Food Systems Biology at the Technical University of Munich. Antonella trained as a medicinal chemist in Italy, which she followed up by a Ph.D. in computational medicinal chemistry, during which she developed a taste for structural biology. Antonella then moved to Israel, where she first started working on bitter taste GPCRs in Dr. Masha Niv's lab. Today, Antonella has expanded her research to olfactory GPCRs and trace amine receptors. Join us to learn more about chemosensory GPCRs and how computational pharmacology can help better understand their function.
You will find the podcast here: https://podcasts.google.com/feed/aHR0cHM6Ly9hbmNob3IuZm0vcy8xM2UwNjQyMC9wb2RjYXN0L3Jzcw==
Optimized fruit foam production preserves key odorants
Dried fruit foams are a healthy alternative to conventional snack products. However, their production is associated with a loss of key odorants. As a study of the Leibniz-LSB@TUM using the example of raspberries shows, the loss can be reduced by three measures: 1. A better separation of pulp and seeds, 2. Using microwave assistance during freeze-drying, 3. Limiting the added amount of foaming and thickening agents to the technologically required minimum. "Our findings serve to develop high-quality and at the same time sensory attractive snack products that contribute to a healthy diet," says principal investigator PD Dr. Martin Steinhaus.
Funding: Project AiF 19015 N. This IGF Project of the FEI was supported via AiF within the program for promoting the Industrial Collective Research (IGF) of the German Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi), based on a resolution of the German Parliament.
Dr. Franziska Haag receives „Zukunftspreis der Lebensmittelchemischen Gesellschaft“
On September 22, 2020, the Lebensmittelchemische Gesellschaft (LChG) awarded Dr. Franziska Haag with the "Zukunftspreis der Lebensmittelchemischen Gesellschaft". The LChG is a division of the German Chemical Society (GDCh). For the first time this year, it awards the best dissertation in the field of food chemistry. The prize is endowed with 2.000,- Euro. Due to the coronavirus pandemic and the cancellation of the 49th Food Chemists' Day, the prize was awarded to the young scientist from the Leibniz Institute for Food Systems Biology at the Technical University of Munich at the GDCh's Frankfurt office. The excellent work of the food chemist on the subject of "Identification and characterization of odor receptors for aroma-active thiols in foods" stands out for its innovative character and its special relevance for the future and the further development of food chemistry.
Further information about the award (Only available in German.): https://www.gdch.de/netzwerk-strukturen/fachstrukturen/lebensmittelchemische-gesellschaft/preise-und-ehrungen.html
Altered sulfur metabolism in Crohn's disease
Crohn's disease (MC) is a chronic inflammation of the bowel that cannot be cured so far. Likewise, the causes of the disease have not yet been fully clarified. A study led by the Technical University of Munich now indicates that characteristic changes in the microbiome of MC patients are accompanied by changes in sulfur metabolism. "Our new findings help to predict the intensity of inflammation as well as the probability of relapse after treatment with stem cells and to develop targeted therapies," says Andreas Dunkel from Leibniz-LSB@TUM, who was significantly involved in the measurement of the metabolome data and the bioinformatic evaluation.
Metwaly A, Dunkel A, Waldschmitt N, Raj ACD, Lagkouvardos I, Corraliza AM, Mayorgas A, Martinez-Medina M, Reiter S, Schloter M, Hofmann T, Allez M, Panes J, Salas A, Haller D (2020) Nat Commun 11, Article number 4322, DOI: 10.1038/s41467-020-17956-1. Integrated microbiota and metabolite profiles link Crohn’s disease to sulfur metabolism
Prof. Dr. Veronika Somoza has been awarded the AGFD Fellow Award 2020
Freising, September 7, 2020
The Agricultural and Food Chemistry Division (AGFD) of the American Chemical Society (ACS) has awarded Prof. Dr. Veronika Somoza with the AGFD Fellow Award, Agricultural and Food Chemistry 2020. The prize, which has been awarded to ACS members since 1988, honors outstanding scientific contributions in the field of agricultural and food chemistry.
Is modern wheat off the hook?
Gluten in wheat: What has changed during 120 years of breeding?
In recent years, the number of people affected by coeliac disease, wheat allergy or gluten or wheat sensitivity has risen sharply. But why is this the case? Could it be that modern wheat varieties contain more immunoreactive protein than in the past? Results from a study by the Leibniz-Institute for Food Systems Biology at the Technical University of Munich and the Leibniz Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research are helping to answer this question.
COVID-19 and the chemical senses
A disturbed sense of smell and taste is the predominant neurological symptom of COVID-19 disease. However, in most cases this is not accompanied by a cold or a blocked nose. For this reason, scientists currently assume that the SARS CoV-2 virus impairs chemosensory perception via different mechanisms than ordinary cold viruses do. A review article recently published in the scientific journal Neuron summarizes the knowledge gained so far. Antonelle Di Pizio from Leibniz-LSB@TUM has contributed significantly to this.
Cooper KW, Brann DH, Farruggia MC, Bhutani S, Pellegrino R, Tsukahara T, Weinreb C, Joseph PV, Larson ED, Parma V, Albers MW, Barlow LA, Datta SR, Di Pizio A (2020) Neuron, 107(2): 219-233, DOI: 10.1016/j.neuron.2020.06.032. COVID-19 and the chemical senses: supporting players take center stage
Fourfold gain for the Executive Board and the Scientific Advisory Board of the FEI:
Co-optation of Jürgen Ahlers, Prof. Dr. Ulrich Fischer, Christin Haupt und Prof. Dr. Veronika Somoza
On July 1, 2020, the Forschungskreis der Ernährungsindustrie e.V. (FEI) will gain fresh expertise for its key management bodies: Newly co-opted into the FEI's now ten-member board of directors are Jürgen Ahlers und Christin Haupt. The Scientific Advisory Board of the FEI, which advises the Board of Directors and now comprises twelve members, is enriched by Prof. Dr. Ulrich Fischer und Prof. Dr. Veronika Somoza. (The press release of the FEI is only available in German language https://www.fei-bonn.de/presse/pressemitteilungen/pm-20200630-zugewinn.)
Chanterelle mushrooms as a taste enhancer
New method for quality control of chanterelle mushrooms
Chanterelles give savoury dishes a rich body and a unique complex flavour. Experts refer to this as the kokumi effect. A research team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and the Leibniz-Institute for Food Systems Biology recently developed the first method to clearly quantify chanterelle-specific key substances that contribute to this effect. This method can also be used for quality control.
Barbara Lexhaller, who was a member of Prof. Dr. Katharina Scherf's research group, successfully defended her doctoral thesis on the "Pathogenesis of celiac disease: identification of isopeptides between tissue transglutaminase and gluten peptides from wheat, rye and barley by LC-MS/MS" on June 29, 2020. Congratulations to Barbara Lexhaller, and our best wishes for the future!
In the current Interreg program Bavaria-Austria a project for the organizational development of a "Coffee College" was recently accepted for funding. In this project, the Leibniz-LSB@TUM, under the leadership of Prof. Somoza, is cooperating with the Technical University of Munich (TUM), the Augustiner Chorherrenstift Reichersberg as the planned location of the Coffee College, as well as with the coffee roasting company "Original Habeshawit Coffee", also located there, and its cooperation partners in Ethiopia. Within this project, the foundation stone is now to be laid for an unprecedented structure, whose long-term goal is a sustainable creation of value for the product coffee for Ethiopia and subsequently for all coffee-producing countries in Africa. In other words, graduates from Ethiopia shall acquire skills to produce the product green coffee not only for the international export market. In day-to-day operations the entire value chain of coffee (from cultivation to marketing and consumption, including the use of by-products) is to be mapped in teaching, research and outreach. In addition, it is planned to generate valuable findings for the coffee industry in terms of quality assurance and optimisation through basic and applied research projects.
Latest findings on bitter substances in coffee
Why caffeine is not the sole contributor to bitterness
Coffee is very popular around the world despite or perhaps because of its bitter taste. Compounds contained in the coffee such as caffeine contribute to the bitterness to varying degrees. A recent study conducted by the Leibniz-Institute for Food Systems Biology and the Technical University of Munich (TUM) provides new insights into the molecular interactions between bitter substances and bitter receptors. This is of relevance not only for taste perception.
Corona viruses and the chemical senses
Lots of reports indicate that infections with SARS-CoV-2, responsible of the current COVID-19 pandemic, are associated with serious olfaction and taste disorders. The new review article provides a comparison with other coronaviruses’ infections, and an overview about the literature already published on this subject as well as individual reports and social trends on this topic. Dr. Antonella Di Pizio from the Leibniz-LSB@TUM is one of the co-authors.
Publication: Pellegrino R, Cooper KW, Di Pizio A, Joseph PV, Bhutani S, Parma V (2020) Chem Senses, DOI: 10.1093/chemse/bjaa031. Coronaviruses and the chemical senses: past, present, and future
News on potentially celiac disease relevant gluten fragments from wheat, rye and barley
Celiac disease is a chronic inflammatory bowel disease that has characteristics of an autoimmune disease. It is triggered by the consumption of gluten in genetically predisposed individuals. In addition to gluten, an endogenous enzyme, the tissue transglutaminase, plays a decisive role in the development of the disease. On the one hand, the enzyme changes the structure of the gluten fragments that were produced during the digestion of gluten and absorbed through the intestinal mucosa. On the other hand, it binds the gluten fragments firmly to itself. Scientists assume that these enzyme-gluten fragment complexes lead to the formation of autoantibodies that are relevant for celiac disease. A recent study by Leibniz-LSB@TUM now provides new insights into the molecular structure of these complexes and shows for the first time which gluten fragments are preferentially bound. The findings could contribute to a better understanding of the role of the body's own enzyme in triggering coeliac disease.
Publication: Lexhaller B, Ludwig C, Scherf KA (2020) Scientific Reports, DOI: 10.1038/s41598-020-64143-9. Identification of isopeptides between human tissue transglutaminase and wheat, rye, and barley gluten peptides (Open Access)
Funding: The research project (No. 250645717) was funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG), Bonn.
Cause for the lack of immune defense against tumors discovered
One of the reasons why cancer develops is because regulatory cells inhibit the body's immune defense. Researchers under the helm of the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have discovered a mechanism for identifying regulatory cells in tumor tissue that suppress an immune response. Their findings may contribute to improving diagnosis and immunotherapy of cancer. Food chemist Andreas Dunkel of the Leibniz-LSB@TUM is one of the co-authors.
Publication: Baumann T, Dunkel A, Schmid C, Schmitt S, Hiltensperger M, Lohr K, Laketa V, Donakonda S, Ahting U, Lorenz-Depiereux B, Heil JE, Schredelseker J, Simeoni L, Fecher C, Körber N, Bauer T, Hüser N, Hartmann D, Laschinger M, Eyerich K, Eyerich S, Anton M, Streeter M, Wang T, Schraven B, Spiegel D, Assaad F, Misgeld T, Zischka H, Murray PJ, Heine A, Heikenwälder M, Korn T, Dawid C, Hofmann T, Knolle PA, Höchst B (2020) Nat Immunol, 21 (5): 555-566, DOI: 10.1038/s41590-020-0666-9. Regulatory myeloid cells paralyze T cells through cell-cell transfer of the metabolite methylglyoxa
Participate in the Global Consortium for Chemosensory Research (GCCR) STUDY
The GCCR is conducting a world-wide scientific study to assess the possible relationships between respiratory illness (e.g., COVID-19, influenza or the common cold) and their effects on smell & taste. Dr. Antonella Di Pizio of the Leibniz-LSB@TUM is a member of the consortium.
To learn more and to participate in the study, click here: https://gcchemosensr.org/
Proteins that sense light also sense taste, at least in fruit flies
Like many animals, you couldn’t see without proteins called opsins, which dwell in the light-sensitive cells of your eyes. A new study reveals for the first time that fruit flies can also use some of these proteins, nestled at the tip of their nose, to taste noxious molecules in their food. Opsins in our bodies could also serve the same function, researchers speculate. The Leibniz-LSB@TUM was involved in the study. By Mitch Leslie.
High table salt intake does not reduce the number of salt receptors on the tongue of mice
Sodium is an essential component of common salt and fulfils important tasks in our body. Therefore, sodium levels in blood and cells are strictly controlled by various mechanisms, including the number of epithelial sodium channels (ENaC) in the kidney and intestine. Both organs are involved in the (re)uptake of sodium ions. As a new study of the German Institute of Human Nutrition and the Leibniz-LSB@TUM on a mouse model shows, a high salt intake reduces the number of ENaC in the kidney and intestine, but not in taste cells in which ENaC acts as a salt taste receptor.
Publication:Lossow K, Meyerhof W, Behrens M (2020) Nutrients, 12 (4), 995, DOI: 10.3390/nu12040995. Sodium imbalance in mice results primarily in compensatory gene regulatory responses in kidney and colon, but not in taste tissue
CrowdfightCOVID19 is an initiative from the scientific community to put all available resources at the service of the fight against COVID-19.
If you would like to help, please go to http://crowdfightcovid19.org/volunteers
If you need help, please go to http://crowdfightcovid19.org/covid19researchers.
Main odorants in barley tea identified
Mugicha (barley tea) is a popular drink in East Asia, which is traditionally prepared by brewing roasted barley grains with hot water. For the roasted barley tea, both hulled and hull-less (naked barley) varieties are used. Until now, little was known about the main odorants of barley tea, in particular it was not clear which compounds contribute to the difference in aroma between naked barley tea and tea made from hulled barley.
Under the leadership of the Leibniz-LSB@TUM, a German Japanese expert team has identified the main odorants in barley tea. Additionally, they demonstrated which compounds are responsible for the more intense smoky note of barley tea from hulled grains.
First comprehensive map of the proteome of the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana–A molecular map for the plant sciences
Plants are essential for life on earth. They provide food for essentially all organisms, oxygen for breathing, and they regulate the climate of the planet. Proteins play a key role in controlling all aspects of life including plants. Under the leadership of the Technical University of Munich (TUM), a team of scientists has now mapped around 18,000 of all the proteins found in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. Food chemist Andreas Dunkel of the Leibniz-LSB@TUM is one of the co-authors.
Publication: Julia Mergner, Martin Frejno, Markus List, Michael Papacek, Xia Chen, Ajeet Chaudhary, Patroklos Samaras, Sandra Richter, Hiromasa Shikata, Maxim Messerer, Daniel Lang, Stefan Altmann, Philipp Cyprys, Daniel P. Zolg, Toby Mathieson, Marcus Bantscheff, Rashmi R. Hazarika, Tobias Schmidt, Corinna Dawid, Andreas Dunkel, Thomas Hofmann, Stefanie Sprunck, Pascal Falter-Braun, Frank Johannes, Klaus F. X. Mayer, Gerd Jürgens, Mathias Wilhelm, Jan Baumbach, Erwin Grill, Kay Schneitz, Claus Schwechheimer und Bernhard Kuster: Mass-spectrometry-based draft of the Arabidopsis proteome. Nature https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-020-2094-2
Shooting at the institute
PD Dr. Martin Steinhaus in an interview with BR TV for the programme "Gut zu wissen". Topic: What makes Durian stink. Broadcast date is still pending. Read also: https://www.leibniz-lsb.de/en/press-public-relations/translate-to-englisch-pressemitteilungen/pm-20200228-pressemitteilung-durian/
First evidence of rare amino acid in plants–Discovering what makes durian stink
Freising, February 28, 2020
Researchers at the Leibniz-Institute for Food Systems Biology at the Technical University of Munich (Leibniz-LSB@TUM) have confirmed the presence of the rare amino acid ethionine in a plant – or more precisely, in the fruit of the durian tree. Despite its pungent odor, durian is very popular in Southeast Asia. As the team of scientists has shown, the amino acid plays a key role in the formation of the characteristic durian odor.
12th Food Safety Congress in Berlin
The Food Safety Congress offers a varied and interesting specialist programme that covers the entire range of topics and current industry challenges in the areas of food safety and food quality. In addition, the event is an established, important forum of the food industry for personal exchange and networking.
Andreas Dunkel from Leibniz-LSB@TUM gave a lecture at the congress on the topic: Mass Spectrometry in Food Research: Innovative Tool for Sensory Evaluation and Digitization of Processes and Side Streams.
Read more: https://www.managementforum.com/food-safety/
Hop derivatives form a structurally independent group
Hop-derived compounds are renowned bioactive molecules and are considered as potential hit molecules for drug discovery to treat metabolic diseases. A chemoinformatics analysis revealed that hop-derived compounds cluster in a different region of the chemical space compared to known bitter food-derived compounds, pinpointing hop derived compounds as a very peculiar class of bitter compounds. You will find the study here.
Chemical Space of bitter tastants
News about the salt taste receptor
The molecular mechanisms that are decisive for attractive salt taste will probably remain a mystery for a while. Up to now, it has been thought that the canonical "epithelial sodium channel" formed by the three subunits alpha, beta and gamma could be the responsible salt taste receptor not only in rodents but also in humans. However, a new study on mice, in which Leibniz-LSB@TUM is significantly involved, casts doubt on this and suggests a different channel composition. You will find the study here
Food-Matrix potentially influences the effect of dietary fibres
High fibre consumption can have a positive effect on intestinal health, e.g. by increasing stool mass. As a new pilot study by the Technical University of Munich shows, as little as 10 g of insoluble wheat fibre can increase the amount of stool (wet weight) if it is integrated into the normal diet via solid foods every day. However, this effect did not occur when it is consumed by fibre-enriched drinks, at least in the current study. The research group, to which Andreas Dunkel from Leibniz-LSB@TUM belongs, therefore assumes that the food matrix could be decisive for the effect.
Open Access Article: https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/12/2/298
Prize for outstanding dissertation
Dr. Sabrina Geißlitz, former doctoral student at Leibniz-LSB@TUM, received the scientific sponsorship award of the Association of German Industrial Bakeries on January 17, 2020 at the 49th Scientific Information Conference of the Berlin-Brandenburg Society for Grain Research e.V. in Berlin. The prize honours her outstanding dissertation entitled "Proteins of einkorn, emmer and spelt: Influence on baking quality and role in wheat-related hypersensitivities".
Thanks for Your Engagement!
Each year, the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry (JAFC) recognizes the effort and time referees dedicate to the scientific community with the “JAFC Excellence in Review Award”. In 2019, PD Dr. Martin Steinhaus of Leibniz-LSB@TUM was one of the ten awardees who were selected on the basis of the quality and timeliness of their reviews. Source: Hofmann TF (2020) J Agric Food Chem 68: 1−3, DOI: 10.1021/acs.jafc.9b07943
Happy holidays and a happy New Year!
The Leibniz-LSB@TUM wishes all current and former colleagues, research partners, friends and supporters happy holidays and a happy New Year!
New Chairman of the Working Group on Flavourings of the GDCh
Frankfurt, November 18
PD Dr. Martin Steinhaus from the Leibniz-LSB@TUM was elected as the new chairman in the 41st session of the Working Group on Flavourings of the German Chemical Society (GDCh). He will initially take over the chairmanship of the working group for the period 2020 to 2022. The working group has existed since 1998 and currently has 19 active members from the university, flavour industry, food monitoring and trade laboratories. The group meets twice a year to exchange information. Consensual views of the working group on current issues are published in position papers. In 2010, the working group produced a brochure in German language which was updated in 2019. It is aimed at interested consumers and provides information on the significance of flavouring substances.
Food researchers, students, and PhD students watch out!
Dr. habil. Maik Behrens of the Leibniz-LSB@TUM and two of his former colleagues of the German Institute of Human Nutrition give a detailed introduction into functions of taste receptors with clinical implications.
To read in:
Handbook of Clinical Neurology, Vol. 164 (3rd series), © 2019 Elsevier B.V.
Smell and Taste; Editor: R.L. Doty
J.C. Töle, M. Behrens, and W. Meyerhof, Taste receptor function
Chapter 11, Pages 173-185
Berlin Science Week - Mind the lab!
Participation with an information booth at "Mind the lab". Topic: "Not only good for taste". berlin.mindthelab.org/portfolio-types/friedrichstrasse/.
Berlin Science Week, Leibniz Debate - "Health"
As a part of the Berlin Science Week and the event “Leibniz debattiert” (“Leibniz Debate”), this time on the subject of vaccination/immunization, a Leibniz Theme Day took place on November 05, 2019 from 5:00 pm in Berlin. The Leibniz Research Alliance "Bioactive Compounds and Biotechnology" was presented for visitors of the event.
The presentation was supported by the colleagues of the Leibniz Research Cluster, the "Wirkstoffradio"-project and the Leibniz-LSB@TUM.
Walter Bushuk Graduate Research Award in Cereal Protein Chemistry
During the Cereals & Grains 19 Annual Meeting in Denver, CO, USA, from 03.-05.11.2019, Dr. Sabrina Geißlitz of the Leibniz-LSB@TUM (Working Group Functional Biopolymer Chemistry) was awarded with the Walter Bushuk Graduate Research Award in Cereal Protein Chemistry. The Award for Ph.D. Students is presented to an individual for outstanding contributions in basic and/or applied research in cereal protein chemistry. This award recognizes research relevant to the broad aims of Cereals & Grains Association The research can be either fundamental/basic (such as improved understanding of structure-function relationships) or applied (such as development of new products, processes, techniques).
11th Annual Best Student Research Paper Competition 2019
The objectives of the competition are to challenge students to demonstrate superior presentation skills, present their research, and offer an opportunity for students to interact with the Cereals & Grains community at an early stage in their career. Within the 11th Annual Best Student Research Paper Competition during the Cereals & Grains 19 Annual Meeting from 03.-05.11.2019 in Denver, CO, USA, Darina Pronin of the Leibniz-LSB@TUM (Working Group Functional Biopolymer Chemistry) won the 2nd place. Read more...
Silesia-Clemens-Hanke Research Prize
October 31, 2019
Angelina Hopf received one of the two awards for the best bachelor thesis in food chemistry for her work entitled "Overview of the nutritional composition of gluten-free foods compared to gluten-containing reference products".
Sarah Jöstl was awarded one of the two prizes for the best master thesis in food chemistry for her work with the title "α-Amylase-Trypsin-Inhibitors in processed and unprocessed foods from wheat, barley and rye".
Tracing the function of olfactory receptors - or why copper can enhance onion odour
October 31, 2019
Humans possess hundreds of olfactory receptor types. But how do these receptors work at the molecular level? So far, only little is known about these receptors. Under the leadership of the Leibniz-LSB@TUM, a German-American team of scientists has shown for the first time that the OR2M3 olfactory receptor reacts up to four times more strongly to a sulphurous odour substance from onions in the presence of copper ions. Two newly discovered copper binding sites inside the receptor could be decisive for this.
Lecture at the Wageningen University & Research
October 30, 2019 - Dr. habil. Maik Behrens is invited to give a lecture at Wageningen University & Research, Netherlands on: Vertebrate bitter taste receptors: Functions structures and physiological roles
Food researchers, students, PhD students and analysts watch out!
Food chemist PD Dr. Martin Steinhaus gives a detailed introduction into the technique of gas chromatography olfactometry (GC-O).
To read in:
Advanced Gas Chromatography in Food Analysis (2020); Editor: Peter Q Tranchida
M. Steinhaus, Gas Chromatography–Olfactometry: Principles, Practical Aspects and Applications in Food Analysis Chapter 9, Pages 337-399
Ceremonial act “Amtsübergabe”
Freising, October 23, 2019 - We are pleased that the Board of Trustees has approved the replacement of the Scientific Director of the Leibniz-Institute for Food Systems Biology at the Technical University of Munich (Leibniz-LSB@TUM). Prof. Dr. Veronika Somoza will take over this function in the future. She succeeds Prof. Dr. Thomas Hofmann, who has left the institute to devote himself entirely to his duties as the new President of the Technical University of Munich (TUM).
Third semester - Welcome Day 14.10.2019
The new winter semester 2019/20 started for the AG JLC Munich with a cosy get-to-know day at the TUM-Campus Weihenstephan. On the first day of lectures, all third semesters were given the opportunity to explore the campus!
After an exploration rally, the young food chemists had a social barbecue with the AG members and students from higher semesters in front of the building of the Chair of Food Chemistry and Molecular Sensory Science TUM and the Leibniz-LSB@TUM.
Attention: Research seminar in food chemistry starts
on October 14 at 5 pm with Prof. Dr. Jörg Bohlmann from the University of British Columbia, Canada.
The lecture's title is: "Montbretin A: A novel antidiabetic metabolite from the plant montbretia".
Prof. Dr. Katharina Scherf receives science award
The Heinrich Stockmeyer Foundation awarded Prof. Dr. Katharina Scherf the "Stockmeyer Science Prize" at the 59th Food Hygiene Workshop on 26 September 2019. With this award, the Foundation honours outstanding food science projects. The award-winning project impresses with practicable solutions and application-oriented research that contribute to improving food safety and consumer protection as well as strengthening consumer confidence in the quality and safety of food in line with the Foundation's purpose. The prize is endowed with 5,000 euros. Scherf receives the prize for the development of a test which is already commercially available and which determines the gluten content of cereal products very precisely.
On the trail of celiac disease triggers
Celiac disease is a chronic inflammatory bowel disease that has characteristics of an autoimmune disease. It is triggered by the consumption of gluten in genetically predisposed people. In addition to gluten, the body's own enzyme, tissue transglutaminase, plays a decisive role in the development of the disease. On the one hand, the enzyme changes the structure of the gluten fragments, which were formed during its digestion in the gut. On the other hand, it binds the gluten fragments firmly to itself. Scientists assume that these enzyme-gluten fragment complexes lead to the formation of autoantibodies. A recent Leibniz-LSB@TUM study provides new insights into the structure of these complexes. The findings could contribute to a better understanding of the role of the body's own enzyme in triggering celiac disease.
Funding: This research project (No. 250645717) was funded by the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, DFG, Bonn). The publication of this article was funded by the Open Access Fund of the Leibniz Association.
On the trail of bitter-tasting proteins
Fermented foods such as cheese or yoghurt contain numerous non-volatile substances that shape the taste profile of the respective food. These also include bitter-tasting fragments of long protein molecules that are formed during cheese ripening, for example. Researchers at the TU Munich and the Leibniz-LSB@TUM have now developed two new mass spectrometry-based analytical procedures which can be used to detect taste-active protein fragments in fermented foods in a very time-saving and comprehensive manner.
Funding: This research project (AiF 18124 N) by the Research Association of the German Food Industry (FEI) received funding from the “Otto von Guericke” Federation of Industrial Research Associations as part of the Industrial Collective Research program by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy pursuant to a parliamentary resolution by the German Bundestag.
Original wheat species are rich in protein
Original wheat species such as emmer, spelt and einkorn have a higher protein and gluten content than bread and durum wheat. In addition, the old species require less nitrogen fertilizer to produce the same protein yields as conventional wheat species. These are the findings of a new study in which scientists of the Leibniz-LSB@TUM were significantly involved. The new findings could contribute to breeding new cereal varieties with improved qualities for more sustainable agriculture.
Publication:Geisslitz S, Longin CFH, Scherf KA, Koehler P (2019) Foods, 8: 409, DOI: 10.3390/foods8090409. Comparative study on gluten protein composition of ancient (einkorn, emmer and spelt) and modern wheat species (durum and common wheat)
Funding: This IGF project of the FEI was supported via AiF within the program for promoting the Industrial Collective Research (IGF) of the German Ministry of Economics and Energy (BMWi), based on a resolution of the German Parliament (Project AiF 18355 N).
The difference in scent between rice and wheat bread
People affected by coeliac disease must avoid bread containing gluten. They therefore often resort to gluten-free products such as rice bread. A new study has investigated which key odorants are responsible for odor differences between rice and wheat bread. It also shows which measures could be taken to optimise the aroma and thus also the quality of rice bread. Researchers of the Leibniz-LSB@TUM played a leading role in the study.
Publication: Boeswetter AR, Scherf KA, Schieberle P, Koehler P (2019) J Agric Food Chem, DOI: 10.1021/acs.jafc.9b04800. Quantitative analyses of key odorants and their precursors reveal differences in the aroma of gluten-free rice bread compared to wheat bread
Funding: This IGF Project of the FEI was supported via AiF within the programme for promoting the Industrial Collective Research (IGF) of the German Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi), based on a resolution of the German Parliament (Project CORNET AiF 147 EN “GLUeLESS”).
All the best for the future!
PD Dr. Katharina Scherf has now received a W1 professorship with tenure track (W3) at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology following her successful habilitation at the TUM. She will be working at the institute from 01.08.2019. She will head the Department of Bioactive and Functional Food Ingredients at the Institute of Applied Biosciences.
The Leibniz-LSB@TUM congratulates Dr. Scherf on her appointment and thanks her very much for her excellent work in the field of research on biopolymers, gluten and cereals as well as on the causes of wheat intolerances. Ms. Scherf has received several awards for her outstanding achievements as a talented, leading scientist at the institute. Among others, she received the Young Scientist Research Award at the 2018 AACC International Annual Meeting in London, UK, and the 2019 Research Award of the German Celiac Disease Society. The latter is associated with a research grant of 20,000 euros. The Institute is proud to have produced such a successful young scientist. For the future we wish her all the best and continued success for her career!
Better food quality control‒Food profilers develop new methodological approach for food analysis
Freising, July 30, 2019
Scientists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and the Leibniz-Institute for Food Systems Biology have developed a new methodology for the simultaneous analysis of odorants and tastants. It could simplify and accelerate the quality control of food in the future.
New gluten test is reliable
Under the leadership of PD Dr. Katharina Scherf from Leibniz-LSB@TUM, 19 laboratories from all over the world have tested whether a new gluten test lives up to its promise. The new gluten ELISA test kit is the first to use four different antibodies simultaneously. As the researchers show, the test is able to detect gluten contaminations in oats and oat products derived from wheat, rye and barley. This is a decisive advantage over the antibody-based tests previously used, which only detect a specific gluten fraction (prolamins).
The new test kit (RIDASCREEN® Total Gluten, R7041) is a result of the BMBF-funded joint project "Fluorescence optical rapid test system for the sensitive detection of gluten (GLUTEVIS)".
Publication: Lacorn M, Weiss T, Wehling P, Arlinghaus M, Scherf K (2019) J AOAC Int, DOI: 10.5740/jaoacint.19-0094. Quantification of wheat, rye, and barley gluten in oat and oat products by ELISA RIDASCREEN® Total Gluten: Collaborative study, First Action 2018.15
Complementary Publication: Wehling P, Scherf KA (2019) J AOAC Int, DOI: 10.5740/jaoacint.19-0081. Preparation of validation materials for estimating gluten recovery by ELISA according to SMPR 2017.021
Pharmaconutrition‒Modern drug design for functional studies
Freising, July 1, 2019
Antonella Di Pizio and Maik Behrens of the Leibniz-Institute for Food Systems Biology at the Technical University of Munich, together with their cooperation partners, have developed highly effective activators for the bitter receptor TAS2R14 in a German-Israeli research project. The new substances are used to investigate the as yet unknown physiological functions of the receptor, for example, in the human immune system.
The team of scientists published their results in the journal Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences (Di Pizio et al., 2019; DOI: 10.1007/s00018-019-03194-2).
Research prize of the German Celiac Disease Society
PD Dr. Katharina Scherf has been awarded the research prize of the German Celiac Disease Society (DZG e.V.) for the research project "Verification of the reliability of a portable sensor for consumers for the detection of gluten". The prize is associated with a research grant of 20,000 euros.
June 15, 2019: Long Night of Sciences in Berlin
From 5 to 12 pm, at the Long Night of Sciences in Berlin, scientists of the Leibniz-LSB@TUM presented their research together with partners from the Leibniz Research Alliance "Sustainable Food Production and Healthy Nutrition" at the Headquarter of the Leibniz Association.
8. Round Table Cocoa Hamburg
June 13th - 14th 2019 - Researchers of the Leibniz-LSB@TUM presented new results of their research. Among other things, biochemical and quality changes of cocoa along the processing chain were discussed.
Lecture series "Facets of Food Chemistry" in Hamburg
On June 05, 2019 PD Dr. Katharina Scherf from the Leibniz-LSB@TUM will give a lecture at the University of Hamburg on the topic: Neue Methoden zur Detektion von Gluten aus Weizen, Roggen und Gerste in Lebensmitteln für Zöliakie-Betroffene
Manfred Rothe Excellence Award in Flavor Research
On May 23, Dr. Antonella Di Pizio of the Leibniz-LSB@TUM has been awarded the platinum edition of the Manfred Rothe Excellence Award in Flavor Research at the 12th Wartburg Symposium. The purpose of the award is to honor and stimulate researchers for excellent contributions to aroma and taste research.
The scent of jackfruit pulp
Researchers at Leibniz-LSB@TUM have identified 35 key odorants that cause the typical jackfruit pulp aroma. The data will provide a basis for further studies on the aroma differences between jackfruit varieties and studies aimed to elucidate the molecular background of aroma changes during jackfruit processing. The data may also be used to aid in the development of new jackfruit cultivars with superior aroma properties by targeted breeding.
12th Wartburg Symposium on Flavour Chemistry & Biology
May 21-24, 2019 | Eisenach/Germany
Scientists of the Leibniz-LSB@TUM participate:
Today (May 21, 2019) Dr. Maik Behrens gives a lecture on the topic: Taking fingerprints of the evolution - Bitter taste receptor gene repertoires.
Followed by Dr. Patrick Marcinek with a lecture on: Selective chemoreception of food-relevant pyrazines relates to evolutionary conserved detection of semiochemicals.
Further information: http://www.wartburg-symposium.de
Nitrogen fertilization influences the baking quality of wheat flour–Less is sometimes more
An international team of scientists has investigated the extent to which late nitrogen leaf fertilisation of wheat can contribute to an improved baking quality of wheat flour. As the new study shows, late fertilisation only optimises the baking quality if the plants had a low nitrogen uptake due to unfavourable environmental conditions. In particular, fertilization with 100 kg nitrogen per hectare led to an optimal protein composition in the wheat grain and thus achieved a high baking quality of the flour. The Leibniz-LSB@TUM was also involved in the study.
Publication: Rossmann A, Buchner P, Savill GP, Hawkesford MJ, Scherf KA, Mühling KH (2019) Eur J Agron, DOI: 10.1016/j.eja.2019.04.004. Foliar N application at anthesis alters grain protein composition and enhances baking quality in winter wheat only under a low N fertiliser Regimen
Lecture series "Facets of Food Chemistry" in Hamburg
On May 08, 2019 PD Dr. Steinhaus from the Leibniz-LSB@TUM will give a lecture at the University of Hamburg on the topic:
Geruchsaktive Verbindungen in Lebensmitteln: Bedeutung, Analytik und Anwendung zur Verbesserung der sensorischen Produktqualität (Odour-active compounds in food: Significance, analysis and application for the improvement of sensory product Quality)
Optimizing fresh cheese production
A team of scientists led by the University of Hohenheim has now refined a new method for the production of fresh cheese. Microfiltration makes it possible to produce fresh cheese in such a way that it tastes less bitter and that sweet whey is produced as a by-product that can be easily processed. The decisive factor is that the calcium-protein ratio of the milk retentate is decreased to ≤ 15.9 mg/g prior to fermentation. Researchers from Leibniz-LSB@TUM and TU Munich were also involved in the project.
Publication: Schäfer J, Sebald K, Dunkel A, Hofmann T, Rosenthal I, Schuster R, Atamer Z, Hinrichs J (2019) Int Dairy J, 93: 72-80, DOI: 10.1016/j.idairyj.2019.01.012. A feasibility study on the pilot scale manufacture of fresh cheese from skim milk retentates without acid whey production: Effect of calcium content on bitterness and texture
Funding: This IGF Project of the FEI was supported via AiF within the programme for promoting the Industrial Collective Research (IGF) of the German Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi), based on a resolution of the German Parliament (Projects AiF 18124 N und 19688 N).
WSR013 How does our sense of smell work?
Interview with PD Dr. Dietmar Krautwurst (April 14, 2019)
Bernd Rupp and André Lampe of the Wirkstoffradio were guests at the Leibniz-LSB@TUM and spoke with several researchers about the chemosensory systems.
(In German language only)
Skin Care: Micelles
Facial toner in the check
PD Dr. Martin Steinhaus in interview with BR-TV Gesundheit (April 9, 2019)
(In German language only)
New findings on the effect of Epsom salt - Epsom salt receptor identified
A team of scientists headed by Maik Behrens from the Leibniz-Institute for Food Systems Biology at the Technical University of Munich has identified the receptor responsible for the bitter taste of various salts. These include medically used Epsom salt. The discovery helps to elucidate the physiological mechanisms by which Epsom salt affects the heart or gut.
Improving bread quality through kneading
Wheat dough with a high content of mechanically modified starch requires longer kneading times than bread dough made from standard flour. An extended kneading time improves the microstructure of the dough and increases the bread volume by almost 25 percent. This is a result of a new cooperation study conducted by the TU Munich and the Leibniz-LSB@TUM.
Publication: Hackenberg S, Vogel C, Scherf KA, Jekle M, Becker T (2019) Food Chem, 290: 64-71, DOI: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2019.03.016. Impact of altered starch functionality on wheat dough microstructure and its elongation behavior
Funding: This IGF Project of the FEI was supported via AiF within the programme for promoting the Industrial Collective Research (IGF) of the German Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi), based on a resolution of the German Parliament (Project AIF 18679N).
Seminar by Dr. Antonella Di Pizio at the Forschungszentrum Jülich
On April 02, Dr. Antonella Di Pizio from the Leibniz-LSB@TUM gave a seminar lecture at the Forschungszentrum Jülich. The title of the lecture was: From chemistry to biology and back: molecular recognition of bitter molecules
News about gluten and wheat allergy
WDEIA (wheat-dependent exercise-induced anaphylaxis) is a rare form of wheat allergy. Physical activity, alcohol or certain medications are suspected of increasing the absorption of gluten components (gliadins) from the intestine into the blood and thus triggering the allergy. As a new study shows, the blood levels of gliadins are independent of the named factors ̶ at least in healthy persons. Neither did the researchers observe a correlation between gliadin levels and zonulin, a marker for the permeability of the intestinal barrier. The Leibniz-LSB@TUM was significantly involved in the study.
Publication: Scherf KA, Lindenau A-C, Valentini L, Collado MC, García-Mantrana I, Christensen MJ, Tomsitz D, Kugler C, Biedermann T, Brockow K (2019) Clin Transl Allergy, 9: 19, DOI: 10.1186/s13601-019-0260-0. Cofactors of wheat dependent exercise-induced anaphylaxis do not increase highly individual gliadin absorption in healthy volunteers
Funding: This work was supported by the German Research Foundation (DFG) and the Technical University of Munich (TUM) in the framework of the Open Access Publishing Program.
Girls'Day at the Leibniz-LSB@TUM
On March 28, 2019, our young guests were given an insight into the research of our institute. They learned a lot about the job of a bioinformatician and enjoyed the day very much. Many thanks to all those who contributed to the success of the event.
Beyond the flavour – Chemoreceptors offer approaches for the development of new drug therapies
Odour and taste receptors are not only found in nose or mouth. Recent studies indicate that they also take on other functions in the body, for example in the immune system or the regulation of metabolism. Therefore, they could serve as starting points for the computational development of new therapeutics. A new review article of the Leibniz-LSB@TUM summarises the current data on this topic.
Funding: This work was supported by the TUM in the framework of the Open Access Publishing Program.
Determining the benzene content of foods safely
Benzene is carcinogenic. For this purpose, it is important to accurately determine the benzene content in flavoured foods, such as cherry-flavoured drinks. A team of scientists from the Leibniz-LSB@TUM and the TU Munich has now developed a new, reliable analytical method that can detect even the smallest amounts of benzene in foods.
Publication: Frank S, Hofmann T, Schieberle P (2019) Eur Food Res Technol, DOI: 10.1007/s00217-019-03267-3. Quantitation of benzene in flavourings and liquid foods containing added cherry-type flavour by a careful work-up procedure followed by a stable isotope dilution assay
Funding: This research project was supported by the German Ministry of Economics and Energy (via AiF) and the FEI (Forschungskreis der Ernährungsindustrie e.V., Bonn). Project AiF 18813 N.
The scent of gluten-free rice flour and bread
People affected by the small intestinal disorder celiac disease must avoid gluten-containing bread. They therefore often resort to gluten-free substitutes such as rice bread. A new study has now for the first time identified the key odorants that characterize the scent of gluten-free rice flour or rice bread. The results could help to optimize the aroma and thus the quality of gluten-free baked goods. Researchers from Leibniz-LSB@TUM were significantly involved in the study.
Publication: Boeswetter AR, Scherf KA, Schieberle P, Koehler P (2019) J Agric Food Chem, 67: 2963-2972, DOI: 10.1021/acs.jafc.9b00074. Identification of the key aroma compounds in gluten-free rice bread
Funding: This research project was supported by the German Ministry of Economics and Energy (via AiF) and the FEI (Forschungskreis der Ernährungsindustrie e.V., Bonn) (project CORNET AiF 147 EN “GLUeLESS”).
Olfactory profiles of propolis
Propolis is a fragrant, sticky material produced by bees. It has antimicrobial properties and is used by food manufacturers as well as cosmetic producers. A US study has now investigated the olfactory profiles of propolis samples from a New Jersey beehive over a period of three years. The results will help to develop new methods for quality control of propolis. The Leibniz-LSB@TUM was also involved in the study.
Publication: Tomaszewski M, Dein M, Novy A, Hartman TG, Steinhaus M, Luckett CR, Munafo JP Jr (2019) J Agric Food Chem, 67: 1495−1503, DOI: 10.1021/acs.jafc.8b05965. Quantitation and seasonal variation of key odorants in propolis
Bioelectronic tongue developed for bitter compounds
An international research team, including the Leibniz-LSB@TUM, has developed a cell-based “bioelectronics tongue”. It is used to specifically identify bitter substances containing a thiourea or isothiocyanate group. Previous studies suggest that some of these compounds are anti-cancerogenic. The new test system could therefore be used both in future food and pharmaceutical studies.
Publikation: Qin C, Qin Z, Zhao D, Pan, Zhuang L, Wan H, Di Pizio A, Malach E, Niv MY, Huang L, Hu N, Wang P (2019) Talanta, DOI: 10.1016/j.talanta.2019.02.021. A bioinspired in vitro bioelectronic tongue with human T2R38 receptor for high-specificity detection of N-C=S-containing compounds
Wheat proteins and immune system
Wheat is an important nutrient source, which also contributes to our protein supply. However, gluten and non-gluten proteins have been identified as allergens or triggers of celiac disease. A new article by the Leibniz-LSB@TUM now provides an overview about wheat proteins and the immune system.
Funding: This work was supported by the Leibniz Association within the Leibniz Competition 2016 (project WHEATSCAN, K195/2015).
What are taste receptors doing in the brain?
Taste receptors are not just for tasting. They are also found on cells of organs that are involved in the hormonal regulation of the body. These include the brain, the pancreas or the thyroid gland. A new review article of the Leibniz-LSB@TUM summarizes what scientists have discovered so far about possible functions of taste receptors in the (neuro)endocrine system.
Rapeseed doesn't just contain oil but high-quality protein, too. However, protein extracts from rapeseed have an intense, bitter off-taste. A team led by food chemist Thomas Hofmann has now identified the substance that is pivotal for the bitter taste. This is a first step towards developing rapeseed for the human protein supply.
Food chemist has been awarded the scientific prize of the Verband Deutscher Großbäckereien
On January 17, 2019, Kathrin Schalk has been awarded the scientific prize of the Verband Deutscher Großbäckereien at the 48th Wissenschaftlichen Informationstagung der Berlin-Brandenburgischen Gesellschaft für Getreideforschung e.V. in Berlin. The award honors her outstanding dissertation entitled "Development of targeted mass spectrometric methods for the quantification of gluten-specific peptides in foods".
A new study by the Leibniz-Institute for Food Systems Biology at the Technical University of Munich (Leibniz-LSB@TUM) shows that craft beer should be kept cool and consumed as fresh as possible. After three months, cold stored beer already loses more than one third of an important hop odorant which characterizes the typical aroma of many craft beers. Storage at room temperature causes the concentration of this substance to decrease even more significantly.
Martin Steinhaus and Klaas Reglitz from the Leibniz LSB@TUM recently published their findings in the journal BrewingScience, doi.org/10.23763/BRSC18-13STEINHAUS.
Life sciences for the senses
November 15, 2018
PD Dr. Dietmar Krautwurst presented some of his latest research findings at the 16th journalist workshop of the Promega GmbH. He heads section II of the Leibniz-LSB@TUM. Amongst others, he and his team investigate the function of olfactory receptors, which are not only found in the nose, but also on cells of the immune system (leukocytes).
Why einkorn could be better for people with wheat intolerance
Modern, but also original types of wheat naturally contain a group of proteins, which might cause symptoms of wheat intolerance. A new study by the Leibniz-Institute for Food Systems Biology at the Technical University of Munich shows for the first time that in comparison to common wheat, spelled and emmer, einkorn contains no or significantly lower amounts of these proteins. Researchers have now published their findings in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.
Our Booth at the 18th Public Science Days in Munich
Our topic: Working World Food Research 4.0
Making cheese & co. taste better – The hunt for flavor-giving fragments
Freising, November 6, 2018
Researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), the Leibniz-Institute for Food Systems Biology, and the University of Hohenheim have developed a new methodical approach. It allows for the faster identification of flavor-giving protein fragments in foods such as cheese or yogurt, thus optimizing production processes.
FEMA Excellence in Flavor Science Award 2018
October 22, 2018
Prof. Dr. Thomas Hofmann has been awarded the FEMA Excellence in Flavor Science Award 2018 at the FEMA 49th Fall Symposium in New York, USA. The Flavor and Extract Manufacturers Association of the United States (FEMA) is comprised of flavor manufacturers, flavor users, flavor ingredient suppliers, and others with an interest in the U.S. flavor industry. One of their most noted developments was the FEMA GRAS list, promoting the generally recognized as safe concept for flavoring substance evaluations. "The FEMA Excellence in Flavor Science Award was created by the FEMA Board of Governors to recognize individuals who have shown outstanding dedication to the advancement of flavor science", according to FEMA. The globally renowned award may be bestowed to highly-recognized researchers and esteemed experts of their field. Prof. Hofmann is the most recent award recipient, following other acclaimed experts like Prof. Wolfgang Meyerhof (2014) and Prof. Peter Schieberle (2008).
2018 AACC International Young Scientist Research Award
October 22, 2018
Dr. Katharina Scherf has been awarded the 2018 AACC International Young Scientist Research Award. The Young Scientist Research Award is presented to an individual for outstanding contributions in basic and applied research to cereal science with the expectation that contributions will continue.
Thomas Hofmann elected as TUM’s new President
Freising October 17, 2018
The Board of Trustees of the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has elected Prof. Thomas Hofmann (50) as the new President of TUM. The experienced university manager has held the position of Senior Vice President Research and Innovation at TUM since 2009. He made a significant contribution to TUM’s success in the Excellence Initiative, especially in developing the internationally acclaimed “TUM Faculty Tenure Track” recruitment and career system. Under his guidance, TUM also became Germany’s top university for the establishment of start-ups. The holder of the Chair of Food Chemistry and Molecular Sensory Science has received multiple awards for his research and teaching. On October 1, 2019, Hofmann will take over from Prof. Wolfgang A. Herrmann, whose far-reaching reforms in his 23-year tenure saw TUM rise to international top level.
New gluten test on the test bench
For the first time a gluten ELISA test uses four different antibodies simultaneously. Thus, it is able to detect gluten fractions from wheat, rye and barley that contaminate oats and oat products. This is a decisive advantage over previously used antibody-based assays. Over the past three weeks, 19 laboratories from around the world led by Dr. Katharina Scherf from the Leibniz-LSB@TUM have analysed whether the test kit indeed determines reliably gluten contaminations in oats and oat products. The results will be available shortly.
The new test kit (RIDASCREEN® Total Gluten, R7041) is a result of the BMBF-funded joint project "Fluoreszenzoptisches Schnelltestsystem für den sensitiven Nachweis von Gluten (GLUTEVIS)".
Bitterless cough syrup
An international team of scientists has developed a set of bitterless prodrugs for a bitter tasting expectorant. In the future these prodrugs could contribute to reduce the bitterness of well-tried cough syrups, as they do not activate the bitter taste receptor TAS2R14 on the tongue. The substances are stable at neutral pH. Only gastric acid converts them into the active, bitter-tasting expectorant guaifenesin. Toddlers in particular often reject bitter medicine and would benefit from bitterless cough syrup.
Researchers from the Leibniz-LSB@TUM were also involved in the cooperation project.
Publication: Thawabteh A, Lelario F, Scrano L, Bufo SA, Nowak S, Behrens M, Di Pizio A, Niv MY, Karaman R (2018) Chem Biol Drug Des, DOI: 10.1111/cbdd.13409. Bitterless guaifenesin prodrugs – design, synthesis, characterization, in vitro kinetics and bitterness studies
Open House Day 2018 at Leibniz-LSB@TUM
Visit our institute in Freising/Weihenstephan.
This is your chance to experience science and research up close and personal – in the anniversary year 2018 at all TUM locations. At the open house day, on October 13, from 11 am to 5 pm, we invite you to visit also our institute providing fascinating insights into our research. Join us to test your chemical senses. Learn more about aroma, smell and taste or why sweetners sometimes taste bitter. Expand your knowledge about wheat intolerances and gluten.
In addition to interactive exhibits, interesting discussions with scientists, we also offer guided tours through our laboratories.
When: Saturday, October 13, 2018, from 11 am to 5 pm
Where: Lise-Meitner-Straße 34, 85354 Freising
We are easy to reach via the TUM bus shuttle!
You will find further information here.
enable 2.0: Risk markers for childhood obesity
Obesity in children is a serious public health problem. Affected children usually carry over extra pounds into adulthood. Obesity in general increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and certain types of cancer. In order to prevent this fatal development, it will be necessary to identify children at-risk as early as possible.
enable is one of four clusters about nutrition research funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). Both the Leibniz-LSB@TUM as well as the Chair of Food Chemistry and Molecular Sensory Science at TUM are involved in the joint project–each of them with an own subproject. In order to develop new nutritional strategies against childhood obesity, both institutions work together with the Dr. von Haunerschen Children's Hospital of the LMU. Their goal is to identify biomarkers that can help to detect highly vulnerable children already at babyhood.
Participating researchers at the Leibniz-LSB@TUM: Prof. Thomas Hofmann, PD Dr. Dietmar Krautwurst, Dr. Patrick Marcinek and Andreas Dunkel.
Bioflavour 2018 - Biotechnology of Flavours, Fragrances and Functional Ingredients
18. - 21. September 2018 DECHEMA-Haus, Frankfurt am Main
Keynote Speakers from Leibniz-LSB@TUM:
From flavours to bioactives – chemoreceptors you always meet twice
Strategies for the discovery of novel aroma-active key compounds in foods
New AiF project launched: "Heat makes the difference: fruit juices in comparison"
There are different methods to preserve juices. In addition to classic heat pasteurization, there are also gentle manufacturing processes in which the relatively high thermal load of the products is eliminated. This helps to preserve the natural aroma, the fresh taste and a high content of secondary plant compounds in the juice.
The quality of the juice has changed dramatically after classical pasteurisation. Nevertheless, the market often offers products labelled as carefully manufactured that are based on heat-pasteurized juices. Frequently, such juices are sold at the same price as completely carefully produced, high-quality direct juices. This is a disadvantageous for both consumers and manufacturers of high quality products. However, so far no simple but precise detection methods exist to prove such misrepresentation.
The aim of the new research project is to develop suitable detection methods to identify false marketing of direct juices. Apart from PD Dr. Martin Steinhaus and Eva Bauersachs from Leibniz-LSB@TUM, Prof. Andreas Schieber's team from the University of Bonn is involved in the cooperation project.
The project is funded by the Forschungsvereinigung Forschungskreis der Ernährungsindustrie e.V. (FEI) and the Arbeitsgemeinschaft industrieller Forschungsvereinigungen „Otto von Guericke“ e.V. (AiF) via the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy. Read more...
Food ingredient with potential side effects
Tyramine is a natural, bioactive substance that we ingest via various foods. In particular certain cheeses such as Roquefort or soy sauce may contain larger quantities. Excessive intake or simultaneous use of certain medications may cause toxic effects, extreme hypertension, pseudoallergic reactions, and migraine.
Scientists of the Leibniz LSB@TUM have now compiled quantitative data on the tyramine content of more than 100 foods in a review article. In addition, they describe the factors that influence the concentration of the biogenic amine, as well as the molecular targets through which tyramine exerts its effects in the human body.
Flour quick test improved
New results of a comparative study between ancient and modern wheat species make it now possible to predict the baking quality of spelled, emmer and einkorn wholemeal flour quickly and reliably. "In future, the new results of Leibniz-LSB@TUM could help to replace time-consuming and expensive preliminary investigations in the laboratory", says Dr. Katharina Scherf, head of the working group Functional Biopolymer Chemistry at Leibniz-LSB@TUM. Publication...
German press release!
The project was funded by the Forschungsvereinigung Forschungskreis der Ernährungsindustrie e.V. (FEI) and the Arbeitsgemeinschaft industrieller Forschungsvereinigungen „Otto von Guericke“ e.V. (AiF) via the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy.
Bitter taste receptor in the gut acts anti-diabetic
The synthetic analogue of isohumulone, the hop-derived bitter principle in beer, mediates its anti-diabetic action via a bitter taste receptor in the gastrointestinal tract – as shown in mice. Thus, targeting extraoral bitter taste receptors may be useful in metabolic disease treatment.
This is a result of an international cooperation project of the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, USA, in which Dr. Maik Behrens from the Leibniz-LSB@TUM is also involved. Read more...
Whitecap: Beer a cultural asset
Thomas Hofmann, Director of the Leibniz-LSB@TUM, in a talk with "leibniz" the magazine of the Leibniz Association. Subject of the talk: Indulgence and art of brewing
"Milestone" wheat gene map could help food security and allergies
Scientists have mapped out more than 94% of the genome of Chinese Spring bread wheat — adding that by manipulating its genetic code, people could eventually improve global food security and possibly alleviate some immune disorders like celiac disease or wheat allergies.
"[This] is a true milestone in wheat research. This is the foundation for future breeding strategies that will help develop improved wheat cultivars that are resistant to climate change, pests and pathogens while providing good agricultural performance in terms of yield and nutrient density“, comments Katharina Scherf of the Leibniz-LSB@TUM. Read more...
The program of the AACC International Meeting in London is now available!
Dr. Katharina Scherf is Program Team Chair of the AACC International Meeting in London that will take place in October 2018. She is responsible for the organization of the scientific program that now is available. At the Leibniz-LSB@TUM she heads the research group Functional Biopolymer Chemistry. You can find further information about the meeting here.
Comparison of Gluten Test Kits
Gluten contained in cereals such as wheat can cause celiac disease in hereditary predisposed people. Therefore, reliable analytical methods are needed to ascertain that gluten-free products contain less than 20 mg/kg gluten. A team around Dr. Katharina Scherf from the Leibniz-LSB@TUM has now compared the reliability of different immunological test kits for gluten. As study results show, there are some major differences between the kits, especially in the detection of gluten from spelt, durum wheat, emmer and einkorn. The study results indicate that there is still a demand for optimizing gluten test kits.
Schopf M, Scherf KA (2018) Journal of Cereal Science 83: 32-41, Wheat cultivar and species influence variability of gluten ELISA analyses based on polyclonal and monoclonal antibodies R5 and G12.
Exchange of views on nutrition issues
July 19, 2018: Hans-Joachim Fuchtel, Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Minister of Food and Agriculture and Member of the German Bundestag visits the Leibniz-LSB@TUM. Prof. Dr. Hofmann gave an insight into the current research of the Leibniz-Institute.
The Molecular World of Odors: From first violin to sensory sound
July 06, 2018
On the occasion of the Academic Anniversary Celebration of the Faculty of Natural Sciences and Technology of the University of Siegen, Thomas Hofmann gave a lecture on the topic: The Molecular World of Odors: From first violin to sensory sound.
100 Years of Molecular Food and Nutrition Research
The Leibniz-Institute for Food Systems Biology at the Technical University of Munich celebrated its 100th anniversary on 15 June 2018.
Greetings to the institute and impressions of the celebration.
16.7 million Euro for investment in a modern research infrastructure
The Bavarian State Ministry of Economic Affairs, Energy and Technology is convinced of the potential of the Leibniz-Institute. Therefore it will provide almost 17 million Euros for investment in a modern research infrastructure. In doing so they are further expanding the strong position of the institute as a driver of innovation.
June 15, 2018: Leibniz-LSB@TUM celebrates its 100th anniversary
Research for healthy and delicious nutrition
It all began humbly in 1918 with the immediate goal of practically investigating how to improve nutrition in times of war-related food shortages. Today it is a major player in research on food and nutrition. The State of Bavaria has paved the way for this journey to the future: The Leibniz-Institute for Food Systems Biology at the Technical University of Munich is celebrating its 100th anniversary with a festive scientific symposium including high-ranking representatives from science, politics and the community.
June 14, 2018: New AiF project "Activity of amylase trypsin inhibitors" is launched
Amylase trypsin inhibitors are enzymes that are naturally present in gluten-containing cereals such as wheat and thus also in pastry products. Recent research results of the team around Prof. Dr. Dr. Detlef Schuppan of the Institute of Translational Immunology of the Mainz University Medical Center point out that it is not primarily gluten but enzymes that are responsible for the non-celiac wheat sensitivity. The symptoms of this disease occur mainly extraintestinal. These include drowsiness, fatigue, joint and muscle pain, skin changes and depressive moods. Likewise, existing chronic diseases can worsen. Schuppan estimates that in some people, the enzymes activate the innate immune system in the small intestine. In its activated state, it releases inflammation-promoting substances that might be responsible for the complaints of affected persons. Since the immune response is purely dose-dependent, it is sufficient, according to the scientists, to reduce enzyme uptake by about 80-95 percent in order to prevent the onset of symptoms. However, it is still unclear how the enzyme concentrations and activities in cereal products such as bread correlate with each other, or how much they are influenced by different manufacturing processes or the types of cereals that are used.
Sabrina Geißlitz and project leader Dr. Katharina Scherf from the Leibniz-LSB@TUM work closely together with Schuppan’s team to clarify these points. Their aim is to develop sensitive and reliable detection methods for service laboratories, which allow optimization of the manufacturing processes of bread and pastry leading to minimal enzyme content in the products. The result would be well-controlled bakery products that are more digestible for patients suffering from wheat sensitivity or irritable bowel syndrome.
The Project is funded by: Forschungsvereinigung Forschungskreis der Ernährungsindustrie e.V. (FEI) and by Arbeitsgemeinschaft industrieller Forschungsvereinigungen „Otto von Guericke“ e.V. (AiF) via the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy.
June 9, 2018: Long Night of Sciences in Berlin
From 5 to 12 pm, at the Long Night of Sciences in Berlin, scientists of the Leibniz-LSB@TUM presented their research together with partners from the Leibniz Research Alliance "Sustainable Food Production and Healthy Nutrition" at the Headquarter of the Leibniz Association. At the booth of the Leibniz-LSB@TUM it was all about the questions: Is gluten generally harmful to health? Is spelt easier to digest than wheat? Are old wheat varieties better than new ones? Questions that the Leibniz-LSB@TUM scientists, together with colleagues from the Leibniz Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research in Gatersleben are pursuing together in the "Wheatscan" project.
Cover Story: Leibniz-LSB@TUM Publication in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Dr. Katharina Scherf leads the team 'Functional Biopolymer Chemistry' at the Leibniz-LSB@TUM. Together with her peers, she discovered a new method to detect gluten. The scientists introduced this method in the April edition of the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. In susceptible people, even small amounts of gluten in their food may cause an inflammatory bowel disease known as celiac disease. Therefore, knowing whether grain products contain gluten and how much of it is present is crucial for everybody who is gluten-sensitive.
In the new method, the scientists couple liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry in a tandem procedure. This allows the quantitative analysis of even very small amounts of gluten in barley, rye and oat products. While previously available methods only provided data on the content of a specific gluten fraction (the prolamin fraction), the new method has the advantage of allowing the determination of the total gluten content. More…
Food Aroma Sensors – Aroma Receptors as 'Analytical Molecular Nose'
On April 10, 2018, while attending the major international trade show analytica in Munich (Germany), Dr. Dietmar Krautwurst talked about a new measuring system for the digitization of complex food-associated aromas. Dr. Dietmar Krautwurst, Head of Section II at the Leibniz-LSB@TUM, developed the measuring system together with his team. The aroma signatures obtained by using the measuring system will be useful for analytical and quality assurance purposes in the food producing industry.
100 Years of Molecular Food and Nutritional Research
On April 03, 2018, the Leibniz Institute for Food Systems Biology (Leibniz-LSB@TUM) will proudly look back at 100 years of excellence in molecular food and nutrition research. The institute started as Deutsche Forschungsanstalt für Lebensmittelchemie (DFA, German Centre for Food Chemistry) in the year 1918 when the Royal Bavarian Government established the institute as public trust. Privy Councilor Professor Theodor Paul MD, Chair of Pharmacology and Applied Chemistry at the University Munich, was appointed Founding Director. You find more information on the history of our institute here.
On Friday, June 15, 2018, we are going to celebrate our 100-Year Anniversary in the framework of a celebratory symposium.
If you like to celebrate with us, please send us a short note to register your attendance before March 23, 2018. Please send this note with your name, address, email address and telephone number to the following email address: email@example.com.
We would be delighted if you could help us celebrate our anniversary on June 15, 2018 in Freising!
TUM@Freising Event Series:
At the Restaurant Lindenkeller, Professor Thomas Hofmann elaborates on the topic "What do you taste when the meal tastes good?"
On March 13, 2018, Professor Dr. Thomas Hofmann, Chair of Food Chemistry and Molecular Sensory Science and Director of the Leibniz-Institute for Food Systems Biology at the TU Munich, gives a presentation on our senses of aroma and taste. After all, how drab would our lives be without the enjoyment of fragrances and aromas? Professor Hofmann will describe our sense of taste in all its complexity and will point out how scientists can influence the taste of our meals.