Chemical and ethological characterization of volatiles implicated in behavioural responses of songbird hatchlings to their parents’ scent
There is increasing evidence that olfaction plays a hitherto neglected role in the social behaviour of songbirds, including parent-offspring interaction. This project aims at identifying and characterizing behaviourally active compounds in songbird chemical communication.
Coordinator: Dr. Helene Loos
Nasal odorant metabolites: characterization and function in olfactory perception
To understand olfaction, one needs to know the peripheral and central processes implicated in odour detection and perception. In this project, we will explore biochemical processes taking place in the nose, with the aim of gaining a comprehensive understanding of how aroma and odour perception is shaped by nasal metabolic products.
Jean-Marie Heydel (University of Burgundy)
Fabrice Neiers (University of Burgundy)
Rémy Reynaud (University of Burgundy)
Thierry Thomas-Danguin (University of Burgundy)
Prof. Dr. Stephan Hackenberg (Universitätsklinikum Würzburg)
Dr. Maria Steinke (Universitätsklinikum Würzburg)
Tracing the transfer of dietary chemosensory molecules and their metabolites from the maternal diet into human milk and urine by means of a Curry spice intervention study
The transfer of chemosensorially active molecules and their metabolites from the mother’s diet into human milk is rarely studied systematically on a molecular level. The proposed project is designed to characterize and quantitate such transfer of food odorants and tastants into human milk. Therefore, an intervention study under most realistic conditions of consumption will be performed with a curry flavored dish. It will be investigated whether additional chemosensorially active metabolites formed upon biotransformation are generated in vivo and transferred into human milk and urine.
Prof. Dr. Corinna Dawid (Technische Universität München)
Dr. Roman Lang (Technische Universität München)
Sesquiterpenes und sesquiterpenoid derivatives in food aromas: physiological derivatives and structure-activity relationships in the modulation of GABAA and glycine receptors
The terpenoid and sesquiterpenoid fraction of food plant materials may undergo dramatic structural changes during their gastro-intestinal passage that have not been regarded to date when aiming at elucidating neurotropic effects of food constituents and odorants. The aims of the study are the characterization of potential biotransformation processes as well as the psychological potential of sesquiterpenoid compounds.
Prof. Dr. Mirjana Minceva (Technische Universität München)
Elucidating wood odour: Identification and quantification of odorants in different wood species
Humans are continuously surrounded by wood in their daily lives. Thereby, wood emits an odour, which is usually perceived as very pleasant and can have physiological effects on humans. Different species of wood, however, vary in grain, colour and hardness, and they also emit different odours. The specific odour of each wood type is composed of a variety of volatile compounds leading to different overall odour impressions. The odour-active molecules will be identified and quantified in the different wood species, through application of human sensory evaluation in combination with odorant-analytical methods.
Body odor sensory-chemical profiling - from newborns to adults
Development, or aging, is accompanied by a range of processes which impact physiology, behavior, and cognition. Recent evidence shows that humans are able to extract information about another person’s age from body odors. This project aims to elucidate the sensory and chemical changes in body odors related to human development.
Prof. Dr. Ilona Croy (Technische Universität Dresden)
MSCA-ITN-2020: RASOPTA – Safeguarding future production of fish in aquaculture systems with water recirculation
The RASOPTA Marie Sklodowska International Training Network aims to identify and bridge existing knowledge gaps in the production of fish species that are important to human nutrition and economy in Europe.
The ITN will develop new technologies for improved microbial and chemical water quality. Dominant off-flavours in water and fish from RAS (recirculating aquaculture systems) will be identified and methods for elimination of off-flavours will be explored in order to eliminate their sources and to improve RAS-sourced fish quality. Furthermore, RASOPTA will examine abundance of common disease-causing bacteria and parasites in fish in RAS, evaluate fish welfare and establish safe procedures for biosecurity.
The research will be conducted through interdisciplinary and university-industry driven research-based training of 12 Early Stage Researchers, who will be educated in state-of-the-art RAS technologies. Partner institutions include University of Copenhagen, Technical University of Denmark, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, ELKH Veterinary Medical Research Institute, Faroese Food & Veterinary Authority, Fraunhofer IVV, Freising and the Landwirtschaftliches Zentrum Baden-Württemberg.
ESR6: Investigation and the development of managing strategies regarding off-flavours in fish and water of RAS
The project aims to identify off-flavour hotspots in freshwater RAS systems, develop strategies to avoid off-flavour formation, and evaluate consumer acceptance of RAS fish. Therefore, water samples from distinct freshwater RAS will be investigated by means of analytical methods like gas chromatography-olfactometry/mass spectrometry. In addition, the organoleptic properties of the fish and its acceptance will be examined by sensory evaluation and consumer testing of fish.
ESR7: Resolving the influence of different fish feeds on off-flavours in RAS water and develop new experimental feeds with alternative protein and lipid sources.
The project focuses on the investigation and the development of managing strategies regarding off-flavours in fish and water of RAS. Specifically, the impact of feed ingredients on the off-flavour in fish will be investigated by sensory characterization and analysis of different feeds. The influence of different feeds on fish health, microbial growth and activity in relation to water quality will be evaluated.
MSCA-ITN-2019: C-PlaNeT - Circular Plastics Network for Training
The C-PlaNeT Marie Sklodowska International Training Network has been approved. C-PlaNeT is a European Joint Doctorate Programme with 15 PhD researchers on circular plastics economy. The C-PlaNet consortium is very multidisciplinary and consists of polymer chemists, process technologists, LCA-practicioners, social scientists and economists. The researchers will, next to their PhD research also attend a joint training programme.
Academic partners include Ghent University (Bel), KU Leuven (Bel), Friedrich-Alexander Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (Ger), TU Berlin (Ger), University of Thessaloniki (Gr), Montanuniversität Leoben (Au) and Denmark Technical University (Dk). In addition, 23 other partners will be involved in the programme: 2 research institutes, 18 companies (including DOW, INEOS and Novo Nordisk), the City of Ghent, Plastics Europe and the Ellen McArthur Foundation.
ESR 8 – The project focuses on the characterization of the causative odour-active constituents in recycled plastics by using smell-guided chemo-analytical methods. The knowledge of the molecular underpinnings of the respective smells is used for guiding odour-minimization technologies. Furthermore, identification and adaptation of sensor strategies for in-line detection and monitoring of odour emissions in recycling processes are goals of this project.
ESR 15 – The project aims at recovering high-quality polymers from marine and/or beach plastics. Hence, suitable collection systems will be established for (1) in-depth physical and chemical characterization of the waste. In a subsequent step, (2) solvent-based recycling will be applied to recover purified target polymers. (3) Chemical recycling routes will be applied for non-target polymers, when material recycling proves not feasible.
Chemical communication in humans: exploring principles of the perception of human chemosignals
Molecular communication is omnipresent in living organisms. It occurs from a microbial to vertebrate level, and air-borne chemical communication can be considered part of it. Humans therein are still poorly understood and the possible implication of chemosensory information in human social interaction has long been neglected. Recent research has demonstrated that transmission of chemical information between humans leads to measurable physiological and behavioural effects. The current project, awarded by the Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) with the Faculty of Sciences’ Women’s Prize, aims at increasing our knowledge of the perception of emotional body odours in conjunction with their behavioural effects.
Coordinator: Dr. Helene Loos
Prof. Dr. Jessica Freiherr (Neuroscience of Sensory Perception, FAU)
BFS Project: SHIELD – Sichere heimische (Bio-) Lebensmittel durch sensorische Detektionsverfahren
High quality of (organic) foods along the supply chain is needed to ensure quality of foods for consumers without food loss. Using a combination of sensor technologies, optical methods and intelligent algorithms the project “SHIELD” aims at developing hand-held devices and smart software, which can easily be used in large and small enterprises. To enable the design of these technological advancements, we work on identifying marker substances for quality determination, which will subsequently serve as the basis for developing the new fast test methods.
Coordinator: Prof. Dr. Andrea Büttner
Project Partners: Frauhofer IVV, Chair of Food Chemistry, Chair of Economics, Discrete Optimization, and Mathematics and the Machine Learning and Data Analytics at FAU, TH Nürnberg and other partners
BMWi Project: ErdEisII
The project ErdEis II aims for realizing a so-called ‘Erdeisspeicher’ as a novel, emission-free, regenerative, near-surface geothermal energy source. Currently, it is not feasible to run the ‘Erdeisspeicher’ technology with pure water, but instead a water-glycol mixture is being used. Hence, the systems cannot be set up in water conservation areas. Therefore, a variety of investigations has to be conducted to guarantee the tightness of the system. Additionally, in case of a water-glycol leakage, potential effects on the environment and the subsequent degradation processes in different soil types have to be tested. For this purpose, the distribution of the potentially leaking fluids and their derivatives are tested in distinct model systems.
Geozentrum Nordbayern, Schleswiger Stadtwerke, Energie Plus Concept GmbH, TU Dresden and RWTH Aachen.