Unit Effect-based Analytics and Toxicogenomics
The unit examines the biochemical effects of food ingredients and contaminants. This involves the analysis of the intake, distribution, metabolism and excretion of these substances (toxicokinetics) with the help of cell culture and molecular biological methods as well as classic chemical analytical methods. The further development and validation of cell-based test systems for effect-based analytics is another main task of the unit.
The data are used to assess the risks of food ingredients and contaminants. When doing so, the protective as well as the health-damaging effects for humans are taken into account. In particular substances which are currently the focus of interest in food toxicology, such as botanicals (pyrrolizidine alkaloids), nanomaterials and heat-induced contaminants (3-MCPD fatty acid esters) are examined with regard to their absorption and/or molecular effects.
As so-called “omics” techniques are used here, another area on which the unit focuses is the further development, validation and establishment of innovative methods in the fields of proteomics and transcriptomics. The unit has long years of expertise in the identification and quantification of genetically modified organisms in foods and feeds and is involved in the establishment of standard methods as a member of national and international committees. As the origin and composition of foods and feeds are also examined, the
- National Reference Laboratory for Animal Proteins in Feeds and the
- Reference laboratory of the network on genetically modified organisms (GMO)
are also located within the unit.
The unit is actively involved in national and international research projects.