Food & Feed Improvement Agents

© Fraunhofer IME | Patrick Klüber
© Fraunhofer IME | Daniel Bakonyi
© Fraunhofer IME | Martin Rühl

Research Motivation

With annual sales of around € 165 billion and growth rates of 10% and more, the food industry is one of the most important German branches of industry. Biotechnologically produced foods have always been of outstanding importance. In Germany, around 10 billion liters of beer and around 2 billion liters of wine are drunk every year. Also for the production of e.g. Yoghurt, cheese, sauerkraut, baked goods, tempeh or soy sauce are essential enzymatic or fermentative processes. While the production of the foods mentioned is mostly based on traditional experience, modern biotechnological and molecular biological methods open up the possibility of fundamentally understanding the biochemical relationships. Starting with the elucidation of metabolic pathways or the enzymes and gene clusters involved, strategies can be developed to make food safer, healthier and tastier. In view of the growing world population, climate change and the increasing competition for renewable raw materials to meet energy needs, food must also be produced in a more resource-efficient manner in the future. Sustainable solutions for the food and feed industry are therefore pursued within the “Biotechnology of Food & Feed Improvement Agents” department.


Research and service offering Food & Feed

Analysis of food and feed

  • basic chemical analysis of food and feed made from insects and fungi
  • determination of the amino acid profile of fungi and insects
  • mushroom-specific analyses: glucances, vitamins, ergosterol, mono-, di- and trisaccharides, lipids
Production of new types of food and feed
  • production of sustainable feed for the breeding of larvae for the feedapplications
  • production of food based on insects
  • cultivation of mushrooms to produce alternative sources of protein
Sensory assessment of food and feed
  • sensory evaluation of food made from mushrooms and insects
  • qualitative and quantitative aroma analysis using gas chromatography coupled to mass spectrometric and olfactometric detectors (GC-MS-O)
  • determination of key flavors and off-flavors of food

Fermentation with edible mushrooms

  • fixed bed and liquid fermentation of side streams of agriculture and the food industry
  • strain collection of> 500 mushroom strains (approx. 100 edible mushrooms and more than 400 other mushrooms)
  • optimization of the fermentation process for edible mushrooms
  • cultivation of edible mushrooms in bioreactors