Scientists of the Leibniz-LSB@TUM study the biological functions of sensory active food compounds and trace their effects on the human organism. To achieve this, chemists, biologists, informatics, and sensory scientists collaborate across their scientific disciplines–and they never run short of exciting news.
Dr. Melanie Köhler, junior research group leader at Leibniz-LSB@TUM, was awarded the Nestlé Award for Excellence in Flavor Research 2023 at the 13th Wartburg Symposium on October 5, 2023. The aim of the award is to honor and promote young researchers for outstanding contributions in aroma and taste research that have proven potential to be translated into innovative products and services for the food industry. The prize is endowed with 5,000 euros.
Just Back from the STS Forum in Kyoto, Japan!
The photo below left shows Prof. Dr. Antonella Di Pizio, Research Group Leader at the Leibniz Institute for Food Systems Biology at the Technical University of Munich, at the #STS Forum 2023 in Kyoto, Japan!
She says, "Attending the STS Forum was a unique experience. There were 1,500 scientific leaders from around the world, including faculty members from 80 universities, scientific societies, and Nobel Laureates". Prof. Di Pizio attended the Forum on October 1 as part of a Leibniz delegation of young leaders (see photo below, right).
For more information: https://www.stsforum.org/kyoto2023/
News on Beer Aroma: More Than 20-Year-Old Assumption Disproved
Freising, September 28, 2023–Hop-derived constituents not only increase shelf-life and bitterness of beer, but can also significantly influence aroma. An important hop odorant is linalool, which has a floral and citrus-like scent. Under the leadership of the Leibniz Institute for Food Systems Biology at the Technical University of Munich, a team of scientists has now disproved a roughly 20-year-old assumption about this odorant. The new study contributes to a better understanding of changes in beer bouquet during the brewing process and beer aging.
Publication: Reglitz, K., Stein, J., Ackermann, J., Heigl, V., Brass, L., Ampenberger, F., Zarnkow, M. and Steinhaus, M. (2023). Enantiospecific determination of the odour threshold concentrations of (R)- and (S)-linalool in water and beer. BrewingSci 76, 92. 10.23763/BrSc23-07reglitz.
Book a Scientist: Speed Dating with Science
Soon it will be time again: The Leibniz Association's "Book a Scientist" event on September 12, 2023 is once again an exciting offer for all those who are curious and thirsty for knowledge. Take advantage of the opportunity to spend 25 minutes with a Leibniz Association expert and ask everything you've always wanted to know about your favorite topic.
Two of our researchers, PD Dr. Maik Behrens and Dr. Klaas Reglitz, will also provide insights into their topics and their daily work, answer your individual questions, and look forward to exchanging ideas with you.
Book an appointment now at: www.leibniz-gemeinschaft.de/ueber-uns/neues/veranstaltungen/book-a-scientist-buchungsseite
The Leibniz-LSB@TUM Congratulates
Congratulations to Assoc. Prof. Dr. Antonella Di Pizio, head of the Molecular Modeling Research Group at the Leibniz-LSB@TUM. As of August 1, 2023, the successful young scientist is an Associate Professor for Chemoinformatics and Protein Modeling at the Department of Molecular Life Sciences at the School of Life Sciences.
Profile Assoc. Prof. Dr. Antonella Di Pizio: https://www.leibniz-lsb.de/en/institute/staff/dipizio/
So You Know What's in It!
Nutrition Tables for Practice - The "kleine Souci/Fachmann/Kraut"
Discover the 6th edition of the Nutrition Tables, completely revised and updated by the Leibniz Institute for Food Systems Biology at the Technical University of Munich! It provides verified data on more than 60 food constituents in over 360 foods, clearly arranged by food groups.
Did you know how much omega-3 fatty acids are in salmon? Or which dairy product is the best source of calcium? Find out with our new guide!
What you can expect:
- Verified data on calories, vitamins and amino acids
- Information on bananas, eggs, chicken, parmesan and onions - and much more!
Stay informed and make conscious choices about your diet. With the new Nutrition Tables, you'll be well informed!
Research Team Identifies Human Odorant Receptor for Horse Stable Odor
Freising, August 1st, 2023 - Para-cresol is an aromatic compound with a strong horse stable-like odor. It contributes to the off-flavor of some foods, but it is also detectable as a characteristic odorant in whiskey and tobacco, as well as in the urine of various mammals. A research team led by the Leibniz Institute for Food Systems Biology at the Technical University of Munich has now discovered which odorant receptor humans use to perceive para-cresol.
Publication: Haag, F., Frey, T., Hoffmann, S., Kreissl, J., Stein, J., Kobal, G., Hauner, H., and Krautwurst, D. (2023). The Multi-Faceted Food Odorant 4-Methylphenol Selectively Activates Evolutionary Conserved Receptor OR9Q2. Food Chem 426, 136492. 10.1016/j.foodchem.2023.136492.
Funding: The initial stages of this research were partially funded by a collaboration project with Altria Group Inc. in Richmond, VA, USA. Gerd Kobal was an employee of Altria during the initial phases.
New Role for Taste Receptors: Bitter Taste Receptors Could Serve as Endogenous Sensors for Bile Acids
Freising, July 3, 2023 - Taste receptors for bitter substances are not only found on the tongue but also on cells outside the oral cavity. As a new study by the Leibniz Institute for Food Systems Biology at the Technical University of Munich now shows, extraoral bitter taste receptors could also serve as endogenous sensors for bile acids. This discovery suggests that, in addition to food components, endogenous substances may have influenced the evolution of bitter taste receptors. Furthermore, the study provides new approaches to explore the health effects of food constituents in which extraoral bitter taste receptors are involved.
Publication: Ziegler, F., Steuer, A., Di Pizio, A., and Behrens, M. (2023). Physiological Activation of Human and Mouse Bitter Taste Receptors by Bile Acids. Communications Biology 6, 612. 10.1038/s42003-023-04971-3.
Obituary of Prof. Dr. Werner Grosch (1934-2023)
The Leibniz Institute for Food Systems Biology at the Technical University of Munich mourns the passing of Professor Werner Grosch, who died in May 2023. We bid farewell to a highly respected colleague, renowned scientist and researcher, whose work was entirely dedicated to analytical food chemistry.
It's the Combination that Matters: Oatmeal- Plus Maggi Seasoning-Odor Results in Walnut Aroma
Freising, June 14, 2023 - A research team from the Leibniz Institute for Food Systems Biology at the Technical University of Munich has analyzed the aroma of walnut kernels and deciphered the underlying "odorant code". As the team shows for the first time, the typical walnut aroma is created by the combination of two odorants that are present in the nuts in roughly a one-to-one ratio. The first substance is sotolon, which smells like Maggi Seasoning sauce and which, as a single component, characterizes the aroma of lovage, for example. The second compound is called (2E,4E,6Z)-nona-2,4,6-trienal. It is known from oat flakes and is responsible for the typical odor there.
Publication: Stübner, C. A. and Steinhaus, M. (2023). Sotolon and (2E,4E,6Z)‑Nona-2,4,6-trienal Are the Key Compounds in the Aroma of Walnuts. J Agric Food Chem 71, 7099-7108. 10.1021/acs.jafc.3c01002.
Human Immune Cells React to Non-Nutritive Sweeteners
Freising, May 16, 2023 - Diet drinks often contain a mix of non-nutritive sweeteners that also enter the bloodstream after consumption. As a new pilot study shows, even dietary intake levels of saccharin, acesulfame-K and cyclamate are enough to modulate the copy rate of various genes in white blood cells. "Our data suggest that this modulation sensitizes immune cells to certain immune stimuli," says Dietmar Krautwurst of the Leibniz Institute for Food Systems Biology at the Technical University of Munich. He adds: “Likewise, they also suggest that taste receptors may act as sweetener sensors of the cellular immune system.”
Publication: Skurk, T., Krämer, T., Marcinek, P., Malki, A., Lang, R., Dunkel, A., Krautwurst, T., Hofmann, T.F., and Krautwurst, D. (2023). Sweetener system intervention shifted neutrophils from homeostasis to priming. Nutrients 15, 1260. 10.3390/nu15051260.
Munich Science Days
Three days of full house and many interesting conversations with "young and old" at the Leibniz-LSB@TUM booth in the beautiful Hall 1 of the Deutsches Museum (traffic center). Our gummy bear experiment and the smell test were particularly popular.
Munich Science Days from May 05 to May 07, 2023
at the "Verkehrszentrum des Deutschen Museums"
Opening hours & directions: forscha.de/fo/visitors
We from Leibniz-LSB@TUM will be there. Visit our booth in hall 1, we are looking forward to seeing you!
Sweet, sour, salty, bitter, umami? Dive into the cosmos of chemical senses and test your sense of smell and taste. While participating, trying out and talking to experts, you will not only learn interesting facts about the molecular basis of smelling and tasting, but also gain insight into current research results in the field of food systems biology. In sensory tests, you can test whether you can recognize everyday foods, kitchen herbs and spices by smell. With the help of the "Gummibärchen Geschmackstest" you will find out how important our nose is for a complete taste experience. If you would like to try out how tastants and bitter receptors interact on a molecular level according to the "lock-and-key principle", a receptor model measuring approx. 30 cm is available.
High-Ranking Visitor at the Leibniz Institute
Prof. Dr. Martina Brockmeier, President of the Leibniz Association, visited the Leibniz Institute for Food Systems Biology at the Technical University of Munich on 20.04.2023.
WaterTopCost-Meeting at the Leibniz-LSB@TUM
From March 22 to 24, ten scientists met in a meeting at the Leibniz-LSB@TUM organized by Andreas Dunkel, Dr. Guangjuan Luo, and PD Dr. Martin Steinhaus. One goal of the meeting was to develop further the prototype of a freely available online database that will help analyze sensory off-notes in water. To this end, the database will provide analytical parameters such as retention indices, thresholds, and sensory qualities, among others. Ideally, the information should help to identify problems such as algae infestation or cyanobacteria at an early stage in the future.
In addition, participants at the meeting worked on the development of an interactive flavor wheel. It summarizes taste and odor off-notes in water and their triggering compounds. The tool will be translated into many languages to advance the use of a consistent vocabulary in evaluating water.
Report of the "Spring School"
From Omics to Systems Biology – Research for Food, Nutrition & Health
A report of the event can be found here:
Tsendmaa Tsengenbayar, a PhD student in the Junior Research Group Neurocircuit Development and Function, at the German Institute of Human Nutrition in Potsdam-Rehbrücke, summarizes her impressions in retrospect:
"Spring School workshop days were one of the most wonderful academic experiences for me. These days, I got opportunities to broaden my limited understanding of systems biology, networking and exchanging new ideas with other peer researchers from different Leibniz Institutes, which inspired me to expand my research ideas in nutritional neuroscience. The introduction to the complementary topics were very informative and educational where I have learned more alternations of useful instruments for my daily academic journey."
From Omics to Systems Biology – Research for Food, Nutrition & Health
March 6-10 2023 at the German Institute of Human Nutrition (DIfE)
The Spring school is a joint initiative of the Leibniz Institute of Vegetable and Ornamental Crops (IGZ), the German Institute of Human Nutrition (DIfE) and the LSB. It is intended for doctoral students and young researchers of the three institutes to provide an insight into approaches, tools and methods in the field of omics technologies, bioinformatics, metabolic pathways and systems biology.
In addition, the Spring School will also introduce topics of complementary skills including research ethics, data management and graphical abstract design. The joint learning experience of participants of all three institutes will also provide the participants with the opportunity for networking and exchange with young researchers from the other institutes and with the invited experts.
Funded by Joachim Herz Foundation
Pungent Ginger Compound Puts Immune Cells on Heightened Alert
Ginger has a reputation for stimulating the immune system. New results from the Leibniz Institute for Food Systems Biology at the Technical University of Munich (Leibniz-LSB@TUM) now support this thesis. In laboratory tests, small amounts of a pungent ginger constituent put white blood cells on heightened alert. The study also shows that this process involves a type of receptor that plays a role in the perception of painful heat stimuli and the sensation of spiciness in food.
Publication: Andersen, G., Kahlenberg, K., Krautwurst, D., and Somoza, V. (2022). -Gingerol Facilitates CXCL8 Secretion and ROS Production in Primary Human Neutrophils by Targeting the TRPV1 Channel. Mol Nutr Food Res, e2200434. 10.1002/mnfr.202200434.
The composition of foodstuffs, but also the sequence of dishes, are important for the perfect taste experience of a menu. This insight, based on experience, is well known. The molecular causes of the pleasure-enhancing effects, on the other hand, are still poorly understood. Using the example of chicory, surrogate and roasted coffee, a study by the Leibniz Institute for Food Systems Biology at the Technical University of Munich (LSB) now explains for the first time why the order in which we eat food can be decisive for bitter taste perception and what role bitter taste receptors play in this process.
Publication: Lang, R., Lang, T., Dunkel, A., Ziegler, F., and Behrens, M. (2022). Overlapping activation pattern of bitter taste receptors affect sensory adaptation and food perception. Frontiers. 10.3389/fnut.2022.1082698. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fnut.2022.1082698/full
Master Student from LSB Receives Silesia Research Award
Jeany Werner, a master's student at the Leibniz Institute for Food Systems Biology at the Technical University of Munich (LSB), received the Silesia Clemens Hanke Master of Science Prize on January 11, 2023. The prize is endowed with 2,000 euros. The topic of the thesis supervised by Prof. Veronika Somoza and Dr. Philip Pirkwieser is: Studies on cellular uptake of taste-active copper and lead salts. The Silesia-Clemens Hanke Foundation has been supporting bachelor's, master's and doctoral graduates in food chemistry at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) since 2017 and annually awards its research prizes to the best final theses of the year at the TUM School of Life Sciences.
The LSB congratulates all participants!
The Leibniz-LSB@TUM wishes everyone happy holidays and a good start into 2023.
New biomarkers for coffee consumption
Freising, December 07, 2022 - In search of new biomarkers for nutrition and health studies, a research team from the Leibniz Institute for Food Systems Biology at the Technical University of Munich (LSB) has identified and structurally characterized three metabolites that could be considered as specific markers for individual coffee consumption. These are degradation products of a group of substances that are formed in large quantities during coffee roasting but are otherwise rarely found in other foods. This and the fact that the potential biomarkers can be detected in very small amounts of urine make them interesting for future human studies.
Dr. Antonella Di Pizio, head of the Molecular Modeling research group at LSB, was recently appointed as the new Vice Chair of the European Research Network on Signal Transduction (ERNEST) Cost Action ernest-gpcr.eu/core-group/. She has also recently joined the Steering Committee of the European Chemoreception Research Organization (ECRO) Computational Chemosensation special interest group www.ecro.online/interest-groups/computational-chemosensation/.
The TUM-GS Internationalization Grant promotes international exchange. PhD students who are not employed at TUM can also apply for the grant. Phil Richter has successfully done so, for which the LSB congratulates him very much! He is a PhD student in the research group "Metabolic Function & Biosignals" of Prof. Dr. Veronika Somoza, Director of the Leibniz Institute. The grant allows the excellent PhD student to spend 14 days of research at the NanoBiophysics Lab of the Université catholique de Louvain (UCLouvain) in Belgium to become familiar with the technique of atomic force microscopy. His goal is to use the technique in the future in collaboration with Dr. Melanie Köhler and her new research group at the LSB to track down previously unknown interactions between food compounds and taste receptors.
Book a Scientist
Now the time has come again. On November 8, 2022, all those who are curious and thirsty for knowledge will once again have the opportunity to hold 25-minute one-on-one talks with researchers from the Leibniz Association as part of Berlin Science Week. Over 120 topics of conversation are on offer.
Dr. Melanie Köhler and Dr. Stephanie Frank from the Leibniz Institute for Food Systems Biology at the Technical University of Munich (LSB) can also be booked as experts in the topic area: Health, Aging & Nutrition.
All topics and dates can be found here: www.leibniz-gemeinschaft.de/bookascientist
Tracking down satiety mechanisms in the stomach
Bitter protein fragments stimulate gastric acid secretion
Freising, October 11, 2022 - Casein makes up the majority of the proteins in cheese and quark. Although casein itself does not taste bitter, its digestion in the stomach also produces bitter-tasting protein fragments (peptides). This has been proven for the first time in a study led by the Leibniz Institute for Food Systems Biology at the Technical University of Munich (LSB). The study also suggests that the bitter peptides are able to stimulate acid secretion from gastric cells via their cellular bitter receptors. A mechanism that, according to the research team, could contribute to the long-known satiating effect of milk protein.
Publication: Richter, P., Sebald, K., Fischer, K., Behrens, M., Schnieke, A., and Somoza, V. (2022). Bitter Peptides YFYPEL, VAPFPEVF, and YQEPVLGPVRGPFPIIV, Released during Gastric Digestion of Casein, Stimulate Mechanisms of Gastric Acid Secretion via Bitter Taste Receptors TAS2R16 and TAS2R38. J Agric Food Chem. 10.1021/acs.jafc.2c05228.
Combating malnutrition–Egg powder suitable as a food supplement?
Freising, September 15, 2022 - Malnutrition is a key challenge not only in African countries. As an international study led by Veronika Somoza now shows, egg powder is a food with great potential to improve the nutritional situation of children in deprived areas. Compared to pasteurized whole egg, the powder contains lower amounts of essential fatty acids, but still provides many vitamins, indispensable amino acids and important trace elements. In addition, it has a long shelf life without additional preservatives, is easy to transport over long distances and is simple to prepare.
Publication: Pirkwieser, P., Grosshagauer, S., Dunkel, A., Pignitter, M., Schneppe, B., Kraemer, K., and Somoza, V. (2022). Evaluation of spray-dried eggs as a micronutrient-rich nutritional supplement. Frontiers in Nutrition 9. 10.3389/fnut.2022.984715.
High-ranking visitors at the "Food Science Day" of the Freising Leibniz Institute
On August 04, 2022, the Leibniz Institute for Food Systems Biology at the Technical University of Munich (LSB) was pleased to welcome high-ranking guests from science and politics on the occasion of its "Food Science Day".
Odorant Analysis 2.0 – Technique for the Isolation of Volatile Food Compounds Optimized
Freising, July 29, 2022 - A research team from the Leibniz Institute for Food Systems Biology at the Technical University of Munich (LSB) has succeeded in automating an established method for the gentle, artifact-avoiding isolation of volatile food ingredients. As the team's current comparative study now shows, automated solvent-assisted flavor evaporation (aSAFE) offers significant advantages over the manual process. It achieves higher yields on average and reduces the risk of contamination by nonvolatile substances.
Publication: Schlumpberger, P., Stübner, C.A. & Steinhaus, M. (2022) Development and evaluation of an automated solvent-assisted flavour evaporation (aSAFE). Eur Food Res Technol. 10.1007/s00217-022-04072-1.
Progress in bioanalytics: Production of RNA chips significantly simplified
A joint press release by the University of Vienna/Faculty of Chemistry and the Leibniz Institute for Food Systems Biology at the Technical University of Munich (LSB)
RNA chips can contribute to the exploration of new methods to diagnose and treat diseases such as cancer
Vienna/Freising, July 26, 2022 - Biochips (microarrays) are modern analytical tools that allow thousands of individual detections to be performed simultaneously in a small amount of sample material. A team led by Mark Somoza from the Faculty of Chemistry at the University of Vienna has now presented a new method in "Nature Communications". With this method, commercially available DNA chips can be quickly and easily converted into RNA chips, which are otherwise much more difficult to produce. Such RNA microarrays help to elucidate the still unknown functions of RNA molecules in cells - an important prerequisite for advancing the diagnosis and treatment of diseases such as cancer.
What is essential for mint aroma–Aroma composition of 153 mint species characterized
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's mint core collection forms the basis for research on one of the world's most sought-after aroma plant. A research team led by the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has now used a methodology it developed back in 2021 to analyze by a high-throughput approach the flavor composition of different mint species as well as differences in odorant concentrations depending on taxonomy, environmental conditions and growth stages.Using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry, the team characterized the aroma compound levels of a total of 153 different genotypes of the herb plant. "We were able to show that the aroma composition varies according to taxonomy and changes during the growth of the plant. Likewise, we observed that greenhouse conditions have a huge impact on aroma compound concentrations," summarized food chemist Andreas Dunkel of LSB, who was involved in the study.
Publication: Peters, V.C.T., Dunkel, A., Frank, O., Rajmohan, N., McCormack, B., Dowd, E., Didzbalis, J., Gianfagna, T.J., Dawid, C., and Hofmann, T. (2022). High-Throughput Flavor Analysis and Mapping of Flavor Alterations Induced by Different Genotypes of Mentha by Means of UHPLC-MS/MS. J Agric Food Chem. 10.1021/acs.jafc.2c01689.
Funding: The research was financially supported by Mars Wrigley (USA).
10th Roundtable Cocoa, June 02-03, 2022:
Food System Cocoa - Unraveling Key Drivers and their Impact on Cocoa Bean Quality.
Speakers from the LSB:
PD Dr. Martin Steinhaus, Head of Section I (ad interim) and Head of the Research Group: Food Metabolome Chemistry at LSB; he will speak on June 02 on the topic: Smoky, moldy, coconutty - atypical aroma notes in cocoa, the molecules behind them and their formation.
Andreas Dunkel, head of the Research Group: Integrative Food Systems Analysis and Databases; he will speak on June 03 on the topic: Systems biology of cocoa - a holistic and integrative approach to modeling cocoa bean and chocolate quality
Read more: www.rundertischkakao.de
3-5 May 2022 – Training School: Advanced GC-MS for water T&O
Starting now! Watertop's Training School "Advanced GC-MS techniques for water taste & odor analysis" at Leibniz-LSB@TUM.
You can find the program at: watertopnet.eu/watertop-agenta/
Why stored linseed oil tastes bitter − And what you could do about it
Freising, April 21, 2022
A team of scientists led by the Leibniz Institute for Food Systems Biology at the Technical University of Munich, in cooperation with the Chair of Food Chemistry and Molecular Sensory Science at the Technical University of Munich, has now uncovered new molecular details relevant to the bitterness of stored linseed oil. The new findings should help to develop suitable technological processes or breeding strategies that preserve the good taste of the edible oil for longer.
Publication: Lang, T., Frank, O., Lang, R., Hofmann, T., and Behrens, M. (2022). Activation Spectra of Human Bitter Taste Receptors Stimulated with Cyclolinopeptides Corresponding to Fresh and Aged Linseed Oil. J Agric Food Chem. 10.1021/acs.jafc.2c00976.
Funding: This research was supported in part by the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft - DFG) (BE 2091/7-1 to MB).
19-20 April 2022 – Water T&O Database Development Meeting, Prague
The meeting aimed to design the Water T&O Database, a deliverable of WaterTOP. Martin Steinhaus and Andreas Dunkel (Leibniz-LSB@TUM) presented the related databases of LSB and a first draft prototype of the Water T&O Database was developed.
Website of WaterTOP COST Action (CA18225) https://watertopnet.eu/watertop-agenta/
Non-alcoholic beer–Non-Saccharomyces yeast provides distinct berry and apple flavor
Non-Saccharomyces yeasts impart fruity flavors to non-alcoholic beers. Beer made with the strain Cyberlindnera saturnus TUM 247, for example, has a distinctive red berry and apple flavor. As a team of scientists led by the Research Center Weihenstephan for Brewing and Food Quality has now demonstrated for the first time, the odorant (E)-β-damascenone is mainly responsible for this flavor. "Likewise, we found that a low pitching rate, a moderate fermentation temperature and an original gravity of 10.5 °P are optimal for producing a beer with maximum fruitiness but minimal ethanol content and no off-flavors," says Dr. Stephanie Frank of the LSB, who played a key role in the study.
Publication: Methner, Y., Dancker, P., Maier, R., Latorre, M., Hutzler, M., Zarnkow, M., Steinhaus, M., Libkind, D., Frank, S., Jacob, F. (2022). Influence of Varying Fermentation Parameters of the Yeast Strain Cyberlindnera saturnus on the Concentrations of Selected Flavor Components in Non-Alcoholic Beer Focusing on (E)-β-Damascenone. Foods 11, 1038. 10.3390/foods11071038.
Funding: The IGF Project (AiF 20658 N) of the Association for the Promotion of Science of the German Brewing Industry (Wifoe) was supported via AiF within the program for promoting the Industrial Collective Research (IGF) of the German Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK), based on a decision by the German Bundestag.
Sugary Soft Drinks and Cheeseburgers−Harmful to Taste in the Long Term?
At least in mice, long-term consumption of a sugary and caffeinated soft drink in combination with a high-fat cheeseburger diet reduces the chemosensory surface of the fungiform taste papillae. This is the conclusion of a cooperative study conducted by the Faculty of Chemistry at the Austrian University of Vienna and the Faculty of Medicine at Slovakia's Comenius University. However, the extent to which a long-term consumption of a diet high in sugar and fat affects the human taste perception apparatus has not yet been clarified and requires further investigation according to Veronika Somoza and Barbara Lieder. Both are principal investigators at the Vienna Faculty of Chemistry and significantly contributed to the study. In addition, Veronika Somoza is the director of the LSB.
Publication: Lieder, B., Conka, J., Reiner, A.T., Zabel, V., Ameur, D., Somoza, M.M., Sebekova, K., Celec, P., and Somoza, V. (2022). Long-Term Consumption of a Sugar-Sweetened Soft Drink in Combination with a Western-Type Diet Is Associated with Morphological and Molecular Changes of Taste Markers Independent of Body Weight Development in Mice. Nutrients 14. ARTN 594 10.3390/nu14030594.
Potential "taste enhancers" for cough expectorant identified
A bitter taste not only discourages consumers from eating certain foods. It also often makes it difficult to take medications. A team of scientists led by Veronika Somoza, Deputy Chair of the Department of Physiological Chemistry at the Faculty of Chemistry at the University of Vienna and director of the LSB, has now optimized a cell-based methodology that can identify substances that modulate bitter taste. The team's initial results indicate that natural plant compounds such as hesperidin, found in citrus fruits, reduce the bitter taste of a well-established expectorant (guaifenesin). The drug helps to cough out phlegm from the airways.
Publication: Beltrán, L.R., Sterneder, S., Hasural, A., Paetz, S., Hans, J., Ley, J.P., and Somoza, V. (2022). Reducing the Bitter Taste of Pharmaceuticals Using Cell-Based Identification of Bitter-Masking Compounds. Pharmaceuticals 15, 317. 10.3390/ph15030317.
Congratulations to Prof. Dr. Katharina Scherf!
Tenure-track professor Katharina Scherf, now at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, has received a Starting Grant from the European Research Council (ERC) for the analysis of molecular gluten components in the research project GLUTENOMICS. She was previously a senior scientist at Leibniz-LSB@TUM.
Genetic link between gut and brain
Studies indicate that there is a genetic link between chronic inflammatory bowel disease and mental illness. Therefore, a team of scientists led by Christian-Albrechts-University of Kiel conducted a transcriptome-wide association study for 23 tissues of the gut-brain-axis. The data sets of 180,592 patients formed the basis. Using various analytical methods, the team succeeded in identifying three genes that are active in the brain and intestine and simultaneously influence susceptibility to Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis as well as schizophrenia. Professor Olaf Wolkenhauer, head of the Network Modeling & Machine Learning group at LSB, was involved in the bioinformatics data analysis.
Publication: Uellendahl-Werth F, Maj C, Borisov O, Juzenas S, Wacker EM, Jørgensen IF, Steiert TA, Bej S, Krawitz P, Hoffmann P, Schramm C, Wolkenhauer O, Banasik K, Brunak S, Schreiber S, Karlsen TH, Degenhardt F, Nöthen M, Franke A, Folseraas T, Ellinghaus D (2022) Commun Biol. 5(1):80, DOI: 10.1038/s42003-022-03031-6. Cross-tissue transcriptome-wide association studies identify susceptibility genes shared between schizophrenia and inflammatory bowel disease
Book a Scientist 2022
Speed dating with science - We want to make all curious and thirsty for knowledge with an exciting offer for the upcoming "Book a Scientist" on April 8, 2022: Book your exclusive, virtual conversation with our Leibniz scientists! In personal talks, our researchers will provide insight into their topics and their everyday work, answer your individual questions and look forward to exchanging ideas with you.
To reserve a talk, send an email to veranstaltungen(at)leibniz-gemeinschaft.de stating your name, the topic you have chosen and the time slot you would like to attend. You will receive a confirmation email if the date is still available. You are also welcome to send us one or two questions that you are particularly interested in regarding the chosen topic. The offer is free of charge. The discussions take place virtually.
We participate in the Idea Run!
The Ideas Run is the central participatory event in the Year of Science 2022 - Nachgefragt! The goal is to initiate a dialog between the public and science and to identify new future fields for research and research policy. Under the motto #MeineFragefürdieWissenschaft (My Question for Science), the Ideas Run therefore invites all citizens to contribute to and to help shape important topics in science and research policy. Questions submitted from January 14 to April 15, 2022 will be included in the Ideas Run. You will find cards to take part and the question box in our foyer.
Flavor code of pea protein further decoded
Plant-based protein sources are very much in vogue. In addition to protein from soy, pea protein is also an ingredient for novel foods, including meat substitutes. Unfortunately, its use also often leads to undesirable grassy and bean-like off-flavors in the respective product, resulting in lower consumer acceptance. A study conducted under the leadership of the Technical University of Munich, now provides new insights into the odorants that characterize the typical aroma of pea protein. "In the future, our results can help food manufacturers to optimize the aroma of plant-based products in addition to their taste," says Dr. Johanna Kreißl of LSB, who was involved in the study.
Publication: Utz, F., Spaccasassi, A., Kreissl, J., Stark, T.D., Tanger, C., Kulozik, U., Hofmann, T., Dawid, C. (2022). Sensomics-Assisted Aroma Decoding of Pea Protein Isolates (Pisum sativum L.). Foods 11, 412. 10.3390/foods11030412.
Bittersweet flavor variety of Brassica vegetables studied–Glucosinolates crucial for bitterness
A team of scientists led by Poznań University of Life Sciences, including Andreas Dunkel from LSB, has investigated which natural constituents shape the taste of Brassica vegetables. To this end, the team analyzed different varieties at the molecular as well as sensory level in both the raw and cooked states. As it shows, the bitterness of Brussels sprouts and broccoli correlates with its glucosinolate content. In this regard, Brussels sprouts contained significantly higher concentrations of these bioactive bitter compounds than broccoli or other vegetables. For Brussels sprouts, kohlrabi and raw cauliflower, the team also found a positive relationship between sugar content and a general taste preference for the respective vegetable. Phenolic compounds, on the other hand, did not influence the perceived taste.
Publication: Wieczorek, M.N., Dunkel, A., Szwengiel, A., Czaczyk, K., Drożdżyńska, A., Zawirska-Wojtasiak, R., Jeleń, H.H. (2022). The relation between phytochemical composition and sensory traits of selected Brassica vegetables. LWT-Food Sci Technol, 156. 10.1016/j.lwt.2021.113028.
Bachelor student from LSB receives Silesia Research Award
Ute Freidinger, bachelor student of the Leibniz Institute for Food Systems Biology at the Technical University of Munich (LSB), has received the Silesia-Clemens Hanke Bachelor of Science Award on February 01, 2022. The prize is endowed with 1,000 euros. The topic of the thesis, supervised by Prof. Veronika Somoza and Dr. Philip Pirkwieser, is: Analysis of minerals and heavy metals in chicken egg products using Inductively Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectrometry. The Silesia-Clemens Hanke Foundation has been supporting bachelor's, master's and doctoral graduates in food chemistry at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) since 2017 and annually awards its research prizes to the best final theses of the year at the TUM School of Life Sciences.
The LSB sincerely congratulates all participants!
The Leibniz-LSB@TUM wishes everyone happy holidays and a good start into 2022.
New method for finding the cell in the "haystack"
Being able to precisely identify cell types in a tissue is essential for biological analyses. For example, when researchers want to find out how the function of a cell type or cell subgroup changes under different biological conditions. Identifying rare cell types poses the greatest challenge. A team of scientists led by the University of Rostock has now developed an oversampling method based on machine learning. This can be used to train algorithms to identify rare cells with high accuracy in combination with single-cell RNA sequencing techniques. "The method is best suited for projects where the goal is to find the needle in the haystack," says Olaf Wolkenhauer, who is also a working group leader at the LSB.
Publication: Bej S, Galow AM, David R, Wolfien M, Wolkenhauer O. (2021) BMC Bioinformatics, 22(1):557, DOI: 10.1186/s12859-021-04469-x. Automated annotation of rare-cell types from single-cell RNA-sequencing data through synthetic oversampling
The role of bitter receptors in cancer
Receptors as targets for chemotherapeutics
Freising / Vienna, December 03, 2021
Bitter taste receptors do not only support humans in tasting. They are also found on cancer cells. A team led by Veronika Somoza from the Faculty of Chemistry at the University of Vienna and the German Leibniz Institute for Food Systems Biology at the Technical University of Munich has investigated the role they play there. For this purpose, the scientists compiled and evaluated extensive scientific data. Their results suggest that bitter taste receptors should also be considered as additional targets for chemotherapeutic agents in the future and should be investigated in this regard. The systematic review recently appeared in the journal Cancers.
Leibniz Association funds olfactory and taste research with almost two million euros
Freising, November 25, 2021
The senses of smell and taste are crucial for the perception of food and thus for food selection, which in turn significantly influences our health. But how do odorants and flavors interact with our sense receptors to make food taste good? And what kind of molecular mechanisms ensure a good mouthfeel? In order to strengthen young talents in this field of research, the Leibniz Association is funding two female scientists from the Leibniz Institute for Food Systems Biology at the Technical University of Munich (LSB) for the next five years with a total of almost two million euros as part of the Leibniz Competition 2022.
Spicy substance from pepper gets into breast milk after eating
Spicy breast milk?
In part of a recent human study led by the Technical University of Munich (TUM), it was found that after eating a curry dish containing pepper, piperine - an alkaloid responsible for the pungency of pepper - was present in the milk of breastfeeding women. The findings help decipher mechanisms that shape our food preferences from infancy.
"Superfood" Moringa: Viewed from a food chemistry perspective
The tropical drumstick tree (Moringa oleifera) originates from India. Its leaves, flowers, roots and fruits are extremely rich in protein, vitamins and minerals. They serve as food or for the production of dietary supplements. The latter can be contaminated by heavy metals or fungal toxins, for example. A European team of scientists led by Veronika Somoza of the LSB has now summarized current scientific information on the quality and safety of the "superfood" and its products in a review article.
Michael Paul is the new head of administration at the Leibniz Institute for Food Systems Biology
Freising, November 02, 2021
The Leibniz Institute for Food Systems Biology at the Technical University of Munich (LSB) has strengthened its top management with Michael Paul. The state-certified business economist with a focus on business informatics and organization will take over the position of the head of administration on November 01, 2021. In the future, Prof. Dr. Veronika Somoza as Director of the LSB and Michael Paul will form the Leibniz Institute's Steering Board.
Prof. Dr. Veronika Somoza receives research award from the Gesellschaft für angewandte Vitaminforschung e. V. (Society for Applied Vitamin Research)
Freising, October 31, 2021 - Prof. Dr. Veronika Somoza, Director of the Leibniz Institute for Food Systems Biology at the Technical University of Munich (LSB), together with Prof. Dr. med. Mette M. Berger from the Swiss Lausanne University Hospital, today received the 2021 Research Award of the Gesellschaft für angewandte Vitaminforschung e. V. (GVF). With this prize, which is awarded only every two years, the GVF honors excellent scientists from Germany, Austria and Switzerland for fundamental contributions in the field of vitamins and nutrients. The prize is endowed with a total of EUR 3,000.
Gastric cells—Plant substance from wine influences acid secretion via a bitter receptor
Freising, October 27, 2021 - Gallic acid is a secondary plant ingredient found in wine or green tea. An Austrian-German team of scientists led by Veronika Somoza, has now found evidence that gallic acid influences gastric acid release by activating a bitter receptor. The study results provide new insights into the still unknown functions of bitter receptors in interaction with taste-active food ingredients.
Publication: Sterneder S, Stoeger V, Dugulin CA, Liszt KI, Di Pizio A, Korntheuer K, Dunkel A, Eder R, Ley JP, Somoza V (2021) J Agric Food Chem, 69(36):10550-10561, DOI: 10.1021/acs.jafc.1c03061. Astringent gallic acid in red wine regulates mechanisms of gastric acid secretion via activation of bitter taste sensing receptor TAS2R4
"Book a scientist" has started again
To all those curious and thirsty for knowledge, we want to make an exciting offer with the upcoming "Book a Scientist" on November 10, 2021: Book your exclusive, virtual conversation also with three of our LSB researchers. They will provide insight into their research topics and their everyday work, answer your individual questions and look forward to exchanging ideas with you.
You can find the approx. 130 topics offered by the Leibniz Association as well as dates here: www.leibniz-gemeinschaft.de/bookascientist.
To reserve a talk, write an email to veranstaltungen(at)leibniz-gemeinschaft.de stating your name, the topic you have chosen and the time slot you would like to attend. You will receive a confirmation email if the appointment is still available. You are also welcome to send us already one or two questions that you are particularly interested in regarding the chosen topic. The offer is free of charge. The discussions take place virtually. Some talks are also offered in English.
Fat-reduced foods—Drying improves sensory property of microparticles
Today, food manufacturers use tiny protein particles to give low-fat products a creamy mouthfeel. The basis for the microparticles is usually whey protein - i.e. animal protein. To produce pea-based microparticles, it is necessary to optimize current process technologies for vegetable proteins. One problem are sensory off-notes that occur. As a team of scientists led by the Technical University of Munich has now shown, drying helps to reduce the grassy, beany off-flavor of the plant-based microparticles. Food chemist Johanna Kreißl from the LSB was also involved in the study.
Publication: Tanger C, Schmidt F, Utz F, Kreissl J, Dawid C, Kulozik U (2021) Innov Food Sci Emerg Technol, DOI: 10.1016/j.ifset.2021.102851. Pea protein microparticulation using extrusion cooking: Influence of extrusion parameters and drying on microparticle characteristics and sensory by application in a model milk dessert
"Caramel receptor" identified—New insights from the world of chemical senses
Freising, October 12, 2021
Who doesn't like the smell of caramel? However, the olfactory receptor that contributes decisively to this sensory impression was unknown until now. Researchers at the Leibniz Institute for Food Systems Biology at the Technical University of Munich (LSB) have now solved the mystery of its existence and identified the "caramel receptor". The new knowledge contributes to a better understanding of the molecular coding of food flavors.
Chemosensory disorders in COVID-19−recovery patterns identified
It is estimated that up to 98 percent of individuals diagnosed with COVID-19 develop chemosensory disorders. The sense of smell is particularly affected. How well and quickly affected individuals recover from this varies. An international team of scientists has now analyzed data from 974 Italian study participants collected by the Global Consortium for Chemosensory Research (GCCR) based on self-reporting by the participants. The researchers identified two recovery patterns that were associated with age, severity of chemosensory disorder, but also regional origin. The new findings should help facilitate the selection of appropriate therapeutic interventions. Antonella Di Pizio and Andreas Dunkel were involved in the study. Both head their own research group at Leibniz-LSB@TUM.
Publikation: Cecchetto C, Di Pizio A, Genovese F, Calcinoni O, Macchi A, Dunkel A, Ohla K, Spinelli S, Farruggia MC, Joseph PV, Menini A, Cantone E, Dinnella C, Cecchini MP, D’Errico A, Mucignat-Caretta C, Parma V, Dibattista M (2021) Scie Rep, 11: 17504, DOI: 10.1038/s41598-021-96987-0. Assessing the extent and timing of chemosensory impairments during COVID-19 pandemic
News on fine cocoa flavor
Quickly and precisely determining the flavor profile of cocoa samples
Freising, September 17, 2021
Because a plethora of flavor compounds contribute to the distinctive taste of cocoa, its composition is difficult to analyze. Now, scientists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and the Leibniz Institute of Food Systems Biology (LSB) have developed a new methodology that quickly, easily, and precisely quantifies the flavor profile of cocoa samples.
2D liquid chromatography for metabolome studies—column combination is crucial
The great structural diversity of metabolites in biological samples, such as urine, poses major challenges for analytical methods. In particular, the separation of such complex substance mixtures is difficult. Combining two separation phases in gas or liquid chromatography has therefore gained in importance in recent years. A team of scientists led by Leibniz-LSB@TUM and TU Munich has now investigated the effectiveness of different column combinations in 2D liquid chromatography and tested their performance by predicting an optimal separation system for the urine metabolome. "Our results indicate that a combination of different chromatographic separation principles in particular increases the 2D separation potential," says Andreas Dunkel, working group leader at the Leibniz Institute.
Publication: Grübner M, Dunkel A, Steiner F, Hofmann T (2021) Anal Chem, DOI: 10.1021/acs.analchem.1c01857. Systematic evaluation of liquid chromatography (LC) column combinations for application in two-dimensional LC metabolomic studies
How specialty malts influence the aroma of bottom-fermented beers
The use of specialty malts in brewing not only results in darker beer color, but also influences the aroma. Until now, however, little has been known on the aroma effect of specialty malts at the molecular level. A team of scientists led by Martin Steinhaus from Leibniz-LSB@TUM has now investigated this effect with bottom-fermented beers and specialty malts from barley. The results show that a simple transfer of malt odorants into beer is less important than previously thought. Instead, the data suggest that the specialty malts contain precursor molecules from which a large proportion of the odorants are only formed during beer production.
Publication: Féchir M, Reglitz K, Mall V, Voigt J, Steinhaus M (2021) J Agric Food Chem, 69(29):8190-8199, DOI: 10.1021/acs.jafc.1c01846. Molecular insights into the contribution of specialty barley malts to the aroma of bottom-fermented lager beers
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 no. 18669 N.
Dissertation of Dr. Karin Sebald honored
The Friedrich Meuser Research Prize is awarded annually by the Research Association of the German Food Industry (FEI) to the best dissertation produced as part of an Industrial Collective Research (IGF) project funded by the FEI. This year, for the first time, the prize will be awarded twice: To Dr. Johannes Schäfer and Dr. Karin Sebald in recognition of their special scientific achievements in the context of their dissertations.
On the occasion of the virtual award ceremony on September 9, 2021, at 11 a.m., Dr. Johannes Schäfer and Dr. Karin Sebald will jointly give a tandem lecture in which they will present their work: "Optimizing production processes and conserving food resources thanks to IGF: sour whey-free production of non-bitter cream cheese products from concentrated milk" is the title of the web lecture, which will be preceded by a short laudatory speech by FEI Chairman Dr. Götz Kröner. Registrations are now open via the FEI website; participation is free of charge.
Further information can be found on the FEI website incl. photo download: www.fei-bonn.de/pm-20210804-meuser-forschungspreis-vortrag
Tools for the visualization of bioactive proteins put to the test
Molecular interactions between proteins play a key role in many biological processes. They are of high interests for drug discovery but also gaining increased relevance for food (re)formulation. An international team of scientists led by Antonella Di Pizio from Leibniz-LSB@TUM has now tested various computational tools that researchers use to analyze and image such interactions. Different protein-protein interactions have been analyzed as case studies, including the interaction between the SARS-CoV-2 and its receptor ACE2. In the current publication, the research team has described the functions of some of the available tools as well as provides practical information on their use.
Publication: Agamennone M, Nicoli A, Bayer S, Weber V, Borro L, Gupta S, Fantacuzzi M, Di Pizio A (2021) Methods Cell Biol, DOI: 10.1016/bs.mcb.2021.06.012. Protein-protein interactions at a glance: protocols for the visualization of biomolecular interactions
Mint Aroma Analytics 2.0—Faster and More Precise
Various types of mint such as peppermint or spearmint offer different aromas that provide a fresh note to many dishes and beverages, especially now in summer. A team of scientists led by the Technical University of Munich has now further developed an analytical methodology that can be used to quickly and precisely quantify the aroma-imparting components of mint leaf or oil samples using a high-throughput method. "The new methodology can support breeding studies by helping to map key pathways of mint flavor biosynthesis or monitor aromatic changes depending on growth stages and environmental conditions" says food chemist Andreas Dunkel from Leibniz-LSB@TUM, who was involved in the study. The research was financially supported by Mars Wrigley (USA).
Publication: Peters VCT, Dunkel A, Frank O, McCormack B, Dowd E, Didzbalis J, Dawid C, Hofmann T (2021) Food Chem, DOI: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2021.130522. A high throughput toolbox for comprehensive flavor compound mapping in mint
Good taste despite salt reduction−it's the distribution that counts
Reducing the salt content of bakery products such as bread without compromising taste is a challenge. One solution would be to create products with an inhomogeneous salt distribution, as this enhances the perceived salt taste. A team of researchers led by the Technical University of Munich has therefore further developed a 3D food printing method for bakery products. With this, it is possible to specifically create dough layers that differ greatly in salt concentration. "Our results could help develop foods that are reduced in salt but still have a good taste and support a healthy diet," says food chemist Andreas Dunkel from Leibniz-LSB@TUM, who was involved in the study. Likewise, it would be conceivable to apply the further developed 3D method to other substance classes such as aroma compounds in order to develop health-promoting products with an ideal sensory profile.
Publication: Fahmy AR, Amann LS, Dunkel A, Frank O, Dawid C, Hofmann T, Becker T, Jekle M (2021) Innov Food Sci Emerg Technol, DOI: 10.1016/j.ifset.2021.102743. Sensory design in food 3D printing – Structuring, texture modulation, taste localization, and thermal stabilization
Progress in the functional characterization of human olfactory receptors
Freising, June 22, 2021
A team of scientists from the Leibniz Institute for Food Systems Biology at the Technical University of Munich has now discovered that the odorant receptor OR5K1 is specialized to recognize pyrazines in both humans and domesticated animals. These are volatile substances that contribute to the typical odor of many vegetables or are formed when food is heated. In addition, pyrazines also play a role as signaling substances in intra- or interspecific communication. The new research results contribute to a better understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying the odor perception of food as well as olfactory communication.
DFG funding obtained to develop a maskless array synthesizer
Prof. Mark Somoza of Leibniz-LSB@TUM has received DFG funding to develop a next-generation maskless array synthesizer. The planned open-source table-top instrument is an optical engine coupled to a standard solid-phase synthesizer. Among other things, it is intended to enable the simple and cost-effective synthesis of nucleic acids or peptides on an ultra-large scale. Somoza's team plans to use the device, for example, to create DNA libraries that will allow large amounts of data to be archived, such as those generated in high-throughput analyses of food. Read also: Low cost DNA data storage using photolithographic synthesis and advanced information reconstruction and error correction https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-020-19148-3
Alessandro Nicoli received poster prize
Alessandro Nicoli received the 2nd prize of the Flavour perception/modelling session at the 16th Weurman Flavour Research Symposium, May 4-4, 2021. Poster title: In-silico exploration of bitter taste receptor selectivity towards food-derived compounds.
Bile acids determined reliably and quickly–New methodology developed
Bile acids are an important end product of cholesterol metabolism and play an important role in fat digestion and absorption. At the same time, they can serve as biomarkers for various diseases, including those related to diet or inflammatory bowel diseases such as Chrohn's disease. However, precise analysis of bile acids in complex biological matrices (e.g., stool samples) has been difficult and costly. A team of scientists led by TUM has therefore further developed an analytical methodology that can now be used to precisely and rapidly quantify a wide range of bile acids even in very small sample quantities. This was demonstrated by studies conducted by the team as part of a Chrohn's disease study, in which they investigated relationships between intestinal microbiota and bile acid metabolism. Andreas Dunkel from Leibniz-LSB@TUM also contributed significantly to the development of the new methodology.
Publication: Reiter S, Dunkel A, Metwaly A, Panes J, Salas A, Haller D, Hofmann T (2021) J Agric Food Chem, DOI: 10.1021/acs.jafc.1c00769. Development of a highly sensitive ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography coupled to electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry quantitation method for fecal bile acids and application on Crohn's disease studies
Bitter substance from mustard stimulates human immune cells
Scientific studies attribute anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory properties to the main component of mustard oil (allyl isothiocyanate). A new study led by the University of Freiburg now indicates that the substance also exerts its effect via a bitter receptor. This receptor is found not only on taste cells but also on immune cells and reacts highly sensitively to allyl isothiocyanate, which is contained, for example, in extra-hot mustard. "Even the lowest concentrations of the food ingredient are sufficient to stimulate human immune cells via the bitter receptor," says Maik Behrens of Leibniz-LSB@TUM, who was involved in the study. However, about 25 to 30 percent of the population possess only an inactive variant of the bitter receptor. This could contribute to the fact that people react quite individually to mustard oil, the researcher adds.
Publication: Tran HTT, Stetter R, Herz C, Spöttel J, Krell M, Hanschen FS, Schreiner M, Rohn S, Behrens M
and Lamy E (2021) Front Immunol, DOI: 10.3389/fimmu.2021.669005. Allyl Isothiocyanate: A TAS2R38 Receptor-Dependent Immune Modulator at the Interface Between Personalized Medicine and Nutrition
Reliably detecting cocoa off-flavors–Relevant not only for chocolate fans
Freising, April 20, 2021
Musty, moldy, smoky or horse dung-like smelling cocoa is not suitable for chocolate production. As part of a larger research project, a team of scientists led by Martin Steinhaus from the Leibniz Institute for Food Systems Biology at the Technical University of Munich has identified the odorants responsible for such off-flavors. The food industry can now use these results to objectively assess the sensory quality of fermented cocoa based on odorant concentrations. The research team published the data in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.
Nutrients and healthy agingStart-up funding for master thesis obtained
The Society for Applied Vitamin Research (GVF) and the Society of Nutrition and Food Science (SNFS) are funding three projects in the field of "Healthy Aging - The Contribution of Adequate Nutritional Status with Essential Nutrients". Among the selected projects is a master thesis that will be started in the research group of Prof. Dr. Veronika Somoza at Leibniz-LSB@TUM. Topic:"Improving the sensory quality of liquid nutritional supplements used in long-term care nutrition of older adults by adding appetite-stimulating aroma compounds."
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!
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.
Profile of Dr. Antonella Di Pizio
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.