Laboratory Nutritional Sciences

What is it about?

The Nutritional Sciences laboratory teaches the basics of the importance of raw materials in food technology. Basically, the aim is to evaluate certain raw materials and see if they are suitable for particular production processes. How are raw materials from a sensory point of view - appearance, taste, texture? What is the overall quality of the raw materials? What is their commercial grade? Is their composition (protein, fat, carbohydrate content, etc.) suitable for food processing? In the laboratory, raw materials of plant and animal origin are tested: for plant raw materials, e.g.  vegetables, spices and cereals and for animal raw materials, e.g. pork and beef as well as poultry.

Nutritional aspects of food processing are also studied, for example, which important nutrients (vitamins, minerals, etc.) are lost during processing of raw materials or which undesirable substances are produced or reduced during processing.

Inside the lab

What facilities are available in the laboratory / pilot plant?

To test the suitability of raw materials for food processing, the laboratory has a range of equipment. For example, a photometer is available for the determination of various substances (e.g. colour values for paprika powder, protein content of various foods). Other quality parameters of raw materials and foods can be determined using colorimeters, pH meters, refractometers, etc.

There is also food production equipment for developing products and producing them in smaller quantities (laboratory scale). These are usually products where nutritional aspects are important, such as low-fat, low-salt, low-sugar or gluten-free products. The equipment includes, for various common kitchen devices and small pilot plan equipment (Thermomix a.o.)

For special analyses required equipment (HPLC, LC-MS) is available to test relevant substances in raw materials or processed foods. This equipment can be used to identify and quantify small molecules (e.g. vitamins, flavourings) in food. There is also a wide range of equipment for extracting these substances from raw materials or foods.

Topics and practical courses

The practical course for the module "Fundamentals of Biology and Raw Materials" is mainly concerned with determining the quality of various raw materials (e.g. potatoes, meat, vegetables, spices).

In one exercise, the students are given an excerpt from the descriptive list of potato varieties. They have to find out which potato variety the given sample belongs to. In another experiment, the students have to determine the nitrate content of potatoes. The content can be influenced by many factors, such as cultivation and weather conditions. The students also learn to assess the technological suitability of raw materials for food processing: What effect does the starch content of potatoes have on the quality of the chips made from them? Why do some varieties of potatoes give a darker color to crisps than others? What do you need to know if you want to use potatoes to make crisps or industrial alcohol?

Focus and research

In a project, for example students will work on practical applications of the National Reduction Strategy, aimed at reducing salt, sugar and fat in manufactured foods. The project involves the production of products such as low-fat mayonnaise, low-fat burger patties, low-sugar ice cream, low-sugar pudding, low-salt ketchup and low-salt rolls. The products are manufactured according to legal requirements. This includes which ingredients can be used and in what quantities. The products are then subjected to sensory testing to determine whether a consumer would accept and buy the product in its reduced version.

Another project, initiated by the Regional Innovation Centre for Health and Quality of Life Fulda (RIGL-Fulda), will be carried out in cooperation with regional suppliers. The aim is to identify and evaluate characteristics of regional raw materials, such as potatoes and vegetables.

Research in the laboratory will focus on sensory and chemical analyses of spicy substances in food products, such as the spicy substances in chilli peppers (capsaicin) or mustard (isothiocyanates).

Laboratory management

Prof. Dr.

Ingrid Seuß-Baum

Nutritional Sciences

Building 31 , Room 220
Prof. Dr.Ingrid Seuß-Baum+49 661 9640-510
Consultation hours
Tue 15:00 - 15:45 (with appointment)


Christina Schäfer

Laboratory Engineer

Building 33 , Room 223
Christina Schäfer+49 661 9640-5380
Consultation hours
please make an appointment


Patricia Stirtzel

Study Programme Coordinator, Laboratory Engineer

Building 33 , Room 223
Patricia Stirtzel+49 661 9640-5370
+49 151 46163645
Consultation hours
Wednesday 13:30 – 14:30 or by previous agreement

Location of the laboratory

Building: 33
Room: 221