Research activities at the Institute of Food Chemistry

Currently the research groups of Prof. Dr. Melanie Esselen and Prof. Dr. Hans-Ulrich Humpf are situated at the Institute of Food Chemistry. Food safety and the metabolism of food ingredients are of special interest and a close collaboration of both research groups is established. The most relevant research tools are biological testing systems (cell culture models), molecular biology techniques and a broad spectrum of Instrumental analytical techniques. Detailed information on the specific research areas can be found on the following pages.


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Esselen group

Our current research focuses genotoxic and mutagenic effects and combinatory toxicity of carcinogenic plant compounds. Further, the group is interested in cell culture studies to investigate the impact of flavonoids on key elements of cellular signaling cascades such as Nrf-2 pathway. Apoptosis or DNA-topology. The third focus include in vitro toxicity of cyclopentenone prostaglandins.

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Humpf group

The Humpf group is interested in the biosynthesis, toxicity and (intestinal) metabolism of mycotoxins as well as the thermal stability during food processing. Further focus is given to the development of human biomonitoring methods (HBM) to evaluate the exposure to mycotoxins and metabolomics-based approaches to analyze nutritional habits. Moreover the transfer of food constituents across the intestinal barrier (Caco-2 model) as well as the blood-brain-barrier is studied.