Research Group Prof. Dr. Fischer
Molecular Dactyloscopy | competence in analytical chemistry
In principle, this procedure in the Fischer working group is similar to forensic dactyloscopy, except that molecular profiles are generated instead of fingerprints. Foodstuffs, but also other organic or inorganic materials, can be clearly described on the basis of a sufficient number of valid and stable chemical markers. To do this, it is first necessary to use ultra-high resolution technologies to make statements about the biochemical processes taking place in a foodstuff, also with regard to interactions with the environment (exogenous and anthropogenic influences). Depending on the question, the entirety of DNA (genome), proteins (proteome), metabolites (metabolome) and elemental or isotopic profiles (isotopolome) are analyzed. Since the obtained hypothesis-free and high-resolution molecular fingerprints are unique, it is possible to distinguish between a reference and an unknown sample.
Food | food profiling department
In the research area food profiling mainly analytical strategies for authenticity and quality control of food raw materials and the derived products as well as for the detection of nutritionally relevant parameters are developed.
The relevance of product and process qualities, such as information on composition as well as geographical origin or the question of organic or conventional growing conditions, has increased enormously for consumers in recent years and represents a significant market and advertising segment for retailers. The development of valid quality standards that can be verified by the customer is indispensable and represents a significant area of quality assurance and consumer protection.
All necessary measures to ensure authenticity are processed at the HSFS within the framework of the FOOD PROFILING division. Operationally carried out at the HSFS are analyses of the underlying genetic information (GENOMICS), the peptide and protein profiles (PROTEOMICS), the non-volatile metabolome (METABOLOMICS) as well as the element and isotope patterns (ISOTOPOLOMICS).
This is a broad strategy that first uses ultra-high resolution technologies to make hypothesis-free system-wide statements about the biochemical processes occurring in a food accessible, including interactions with the environment (FOOD FINGERPRINTING).
The biomarkers identified in this way can then be absolutely quantified by targeted analyses (FOOD TARGETING). In addition, it is possible to determine individual markers qualitatively by means of rapid test procedures (FOOD SENSING). This area also includes the development of aptamers as innovative tailor-made receptors for various classes of molecules, such as high molecular weight proteins and low molecular weight metabolites.
In addition to the composition of foods and raw materials, the question of the effect of foods is playing an increasingly decisive role at the HSFS. Strategies for METABOLIC PROFILING and for the targeted detection of nutritionally relevant parameters (METABOLIC TARGETING) using high-resolution spectrometric methods are also the focus of research activities at the HSFS.
Data analysis is carried out in close cooperation with the chemometrics/bioinformatics working group at the HSFS.
Artefacts | artefact profiling department
Since 2019, the Cluster of Excellence "Understanding Written Artefacts" (UWA) has been funded by the DFG for a period of seven years. Research at the UWA aims to develop a global framework for the study of all written artifacts from the beginning of writing to the present and from all regions that have produced such artifacts.
It is the only cluster of excellence at UHH that is supported by two faculties (MIN and GW).
The program of the research area "Artefact Profiling", which hosts the natural science part of the cluster and is headed by Prof. Fischer, aims at the development of novel chemical and physical methods and their application for the investigation of organic/biological and inorganic systems.
In the research area Artefact Profiling, we apply, among other things, all the methods we develop for the food sector to other biological and inorganic materials in order to obtain information about their identity and origin. Such technologies and experiments allow us to understand how and from which materials written artifacts such as manuscripts were made, used, and changed over time. In addition, the area of "Artefact Profiling" supports the research, development and application of methods and techniques for the preservation of cultural assets in general and of written artifacts in particular.
In addition to the HSFS, other institutions such as the TU Hamburg Harburg, DESY or the Federal Institute for Materials Research (Berlin) are involved in Artefact Profiling.
Project duration: 2019 - 2025
Funded by the German Research Foundation (German: Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, DFG) (Cluster of Excellence)
Project no. 390893796
Preparation and spectroscopic studies of 5-deazaflavin isotopologues in isotropic and anisotropic surroundings
Project duration: 2021 - 2024
Funded by the German Research Foundation (German: Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, DFG)
Project no. 459493567
Project duration: 2016 - 2021
Funded by means of the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (German: Bundesministerium für Ernährung und Landwirtschaft, BMEL) by a decision of the German parliament. Project support is provided by the Federal Institute for Agriculture and Food (German: Bundesanstalt für Landwirtschaft und Ernährung, BLE) within the scope of the program for promoting innovation.
Funding reference number: 2816500914
TThe following projects are or were funded by the Industrial Collective Research (Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy via AiF) via the Research Association of the German Food Industry (German: Forschungskreis der Ernährungsindustrie e.V., FEI):
• Verification of origin for strawberries (AiF 22909 N)
• User-friendly fish species tests (AiF 21952 N)
• Rapid test for spice authentication (AiF 21656 N)
• Ageing detection for hazelnuts (AiF 20506 N)
• Biological identity of apple products (AiF 20045 N)
• Purity control of marzipan (AiF 19356 N)
• Rapid test for fish species differentiation (AiF 18667 N)
• Varietal identification of hazelnuts (AiF 18751 N)
• Cocoa shell detection in cocoa products (AiF 18475 N)
• Metabolomics-based authentication of the origin of white asparagus (AiF 18349 N)
• Affinity enrichment of Alicyclobacillus spores (AiF 17245 N)
• Differentiation of cocoa (AiF 16796 N)
• Detection of Staphylococcus aureus (AiF 331 ZN)
• Reduction of allergenic wine treatment agents (AiF 16330 N)
• Wheat content in spelt products (AiF 15619 N)
• Purity control of marzipan (AiF 15304 N)
• Quality determination of cocoa and chocolate using PCR (AiF 14387 N)