Laboratory for analysis and characterization of food and plant parts

The Laboratory for Flavours and Metabolites conducts investigations in the topic areas of food quality and plant health. Naturally occurring ingredients are identified and quantified in agricultural products (apples, apple juices, grapes, wines, cheese, milk) and plant parts (leaves, roots, wood). The laboratory boasts state-of-the-art technology and has at its disposal a variety of analytical instruments such as high-resolution mass spectrometers.

In gas chromatography, the compounds to be tested at elevated temperature (50‑250 °C) are separated on a thin separation column and analysed with a suitable detector. The detectors used are mass spectrometers (MS) or flame ionisation detectors (FID). Using these techniques, volatile compounds such as apple and wine flavours as well as esterified fatty acids from dairy and cheese products can be quantitatively determined.

Using liquid chromatography, the compounds to be analysed are separated on a separation column with solvent mixtures and then measured with suitable detectors. Mass spectrometers (MS) or diode array detectors (DAD) are used. Using this procedure, non-volatile ingredients such as polyphenols in wine, grapes and apples, as well as vitamins in apples and juices can be measured. Other technologies that can be used in the laboratory include near-infrared spectroscopy, ion-exchange chromatography, and high-resolution mass spectrometry.

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Technology Sector
Research institute