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"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.
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.
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.
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.
What brings olfactory receptors to the cell surface − "Zip codes" for odor sensors identified
Freising, March 17, 2021
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.
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 Department of Physiological Chemistry of the Faculty of 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.
From Coelacanths to Humans−What Evolution Reveals about the Function of Bitter Receptors
Freising, February 02, 2021
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.
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“.
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?
Freising, August 11, 2020
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.
Chanterelle mushrooms as a taste enhancer
New method for quality control of chanterelle mushrooms
Freising, June 30, 2020
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.
Latest findings on bitter substances in coffee
Why caffeine is not the sole contributor to bitterness
Freising, June 17, 2020
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.
Flavor research for consumer protection
Flavorings containing benzaldehyde can develop benzene under the influence of light
In 2013, the Stiftung Warentest found harmful benzene in drinks with cherry flavor. But how did the substance get into the drinks? Was the source benzaldehyde, an essential component of the cherry flavoring? And if so, how could the problem be solved? A new study by the Leibniz-Institute for Food Systems Biology and the Technical University of Munich (TUM) is now able to answer these questions.
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.
Leibniz-Institute for Food Systems Biology at the Technical University of Munich has a new director
Veronika Somoza succeeds Thomas F. Hofmann
Freising, October 24, 2019
Prof. Dr. Veronika Somoza will take on her new post as Director of the Leibniz-Institute for Food Systems Biology at the Technical University of Munich (Leibniz-LSB@TUM) as of November 1, 2019. She succeeds Prof. Thomas F. Hofmann, who is leaving the Leibniz-Institute, located in Freising, for his new position as President of the Technical University of Munich (TUM). The position as Director also entails the Professorship for Nutritional Systems Biology at the TUM School of Life Sciences Weihenstephan's Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences.
Better food quality control‒
Food profilers develop new methodological approach for food analysis
Freising, July 30, 2019
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).
New findings on the effect of Epsom salt‒Epsom salt receptor identified
Freising, April 8, 2019
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.
How rapeseed could be used as a protein source for human nutrition
Freising, January 31, 2019
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.
Store craft beer in a cool place and consume it as fresh as possible
Freising, January 14, 2019
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.
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.
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.
Pungent tasting substance in ginger reduces bad breath – How food ingredients affect our taste perception
Freising July 30, 2018
The pungent compound 6-gingerol, a constituent of ginger, stimulates an enzyme contained in saliva ¬– an enzyme which breaks down foul-smelling substances. It thus ensures fresh breath and a better aftertaste. Citric acid, on the other hand, increases the sodium ion content of saliva, making salty foods taste less salty. To find out more about food components, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and the Leibniz- Institute for Food Systems Biology investigated the effects of food components on the molecules dissolved in saliva.
Flavoring substances stimulate immune defenses – More than just a good flavor
Freising June 18, 2018
Not only do citric acid and spicy 6-gingerol from ginger add special flavors to food and beverages; both substances also stimulate the molecular defenses in human saliva. That is the result of a human clinical trial by a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and the Leibniz-Institute for Food Systems Biology.
Leibniz-Institute at Technical University of Munich celebrates 100th anniversary – Research for healthy and delicious nutrition
Freising June 15, 2018
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.