Leibniz-LSB@TUM News

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. 



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.

More information...

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.


What causes "new car smell"?

Do you know him, the typical odor of a new car? Many people like it as they associate the smell with getting something fresh and new. Other people consider this “new car odor” as unpleasant and clearly reject it.

Researchers of the Leibniz-LSB@TUM have identified the plastic-like, pungent-smelling 1-hexen-3-one as a key substance for the characteristic odor of PVC-based artificial leather, which is used in modern cars for upholstery and interior covers. "The findings will help to decisively minimize the smell of new car's interiors in future," says PD Dr. Martin Steinhaus, who headed the study.

Publication:Reglitz K und Steinhaus M in: Siegmund B & Leitner E (Eds) (2018) Flavour Sci, Verlag der Technischen Universität Graz, DOI: 10.3217/978-3-85125-593-5-81, CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. Key odorants in the artificial leather of car interiors

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:

Dietmar Krautwurst
From flavours to bioactives – chemoreceptors you always meet twice
Martin Steinhaus
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.

Research goal:

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.

Publication: Andersen G, Marcinek P, Sulzinger N, Schieberle P, Krautwurst D (2018) Nutrition Reviews, DOI: 10.1093/nutrit/nuy036. Food sources and biomolecular targets of tyramine

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.

Press release

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.

Press release

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.

Research goal

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: 100jahre.leibniz-lsb@tum.de

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.

Link to the website TUM@Freising Event Series ....