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Institute of Applied Biosciences

Department of Food Chemistry and Phytochemistry

Adenauerring 20a, Building 50.41

76131 Karlsruhe

Phone: +49 721 608 44241

Fax: +49 721 608 47255



Institut für Angewandte Biowissenschaften

Abteilung für Lebensmittelchemie und Phytochemie

Adenauerring 20a, Gebäude 50.41

76131 Karlsruhe

Tel.: +49 721 608 44241

Fax: +49 721 608 47255



Larissa Kaufhold, Tizian Klingel, Victoria Merdian, Silke Pittrof and Daniela Schäfer finished their MSc theses, many congratulations!

Vera Gottstein starts on her PhD studies, welcome to our group!

Florian Junker starts on his PhD studies, welcome (back) to our group!

Jonas Bowers, Luise Ernst and Jasmin Ulrich started on their MSc theses and Sandra Tamosaite started on her diploma thesis, welcome to our group!


Congratulations to Beate Kohn on successfully defending her PhD degree!

Caroline Bender and Antje Trabert started on their PhD studies, welcome (back) to our group!


Julia Hale starts on her PhD studies, welcome (back) to our group!


Larissa Kaufhold, Tizian Klingel, Victoria Merdian, Heike Oberst, Silke Pittrof and Daniela Schäfer started on their MSc theses, welcome to our group!


Hendrik Eichhöfer starts on his PhD studies, welcome to our group!

Caroline Bender, Julia Hale and Florian Junker started on their MSc theses, welcome to our group!


Christina Decker starts on her PhD studies, welcome to our group!


Martina Hadamjetz started her diploma thesis, welcome to our group!


Jörg Gottmann, Frauke Herbi and Franziska Münkel started on their MSc theses, welcome to our group!

Lea Fels starts on her PhD studies, welcome to our group!

Lena Bitenc, Christina Decker, Hendrik Eichhöfer, Anja Fischer, Svenja Heizmann, Melinda Sattler and Sarah Schleicher finished their MSc theses, many congratulations!


Congratulations to Martin Waterstraat on successfully defending his PhD degree!


Congratulations to Felix Urbat on your wedding! Wishing you all the happiness in the world!

Lena Bitenc, Christina Decker, Hendrik Eichhöfer, Anja Fischer, Svenja Heizmann, Melinda Sattler and Sarah Schleicher started on their MSc theses - welcome to our group!

Benjamin Bindereif, Lea Fels, David Kahl, Toni Steiniger and Antje Trabert finished their MSc theses, congratulations!

Dr. Daniel Wefers got married in June, many congratulations and we wish you all the best and love for the future!


Benjamin Bindereif, Lea Fels, David Kahl, Toni Steiniger and Antje Trabert started on their MSc theses - welcome to the group!

Mirjam-Anna Epp, Thomas Kauz and Johanna Mailänder finished their diploma theses, congratulations!

Rebecca Brendel, Sylvia Dreßler, Cora Hannes, Anna-Lena Hau, Philipp Schlumpberger and Karola Schrag finished their MSc theses, congratulations!


Congratulations to Rachel Schendel on successfully defending her PhD degree!


The XIII International Conference on the Applications of Magnetic Resonance in Food Science in Karlsruhe was a success (June 07-June 10, 2016)! The proceedings volume will be published by the end of 2016. For more information please visit: https://mrfood2016.gvt.org

Jan Steck starts on his PhD studies, welcome (back) to our group!

Rebecca Brendel, Sylvia Dreßler, Cora Hannes, Anna-Lena Hau, Philipp Schlumpberger, Karola Schrag and Kevin Schu started on their MSc theses - welcome to the group!

Matthias Breuer, Karin Jung and Hannah Renner finished their diploma theses, congratulations!


Congratulations to Judith Schäfer on successfully defending her PhD degree!


Daniel Wefers successfully defended his doctoral dissertation, many congratulations!

Mirjam-Anna Epp, Thomas Kauz and Johanna Mailänder started their diploma theses.


Natalie Britscho and Laura Gerster finished their diploma theses, while Matthias Breuer, Karin Jung and Hannah Renner started their diploma theses.


Andreas Becker is back in the group and starts on his PhD studies. Welcome back!

Svenja Ackermann starts on her PhD studies, welcome to our group!





Our research is focused on the plant cell wall, its constituents and their functions in the plant, in plant-based foods, and in human nutrition. The plant cell wall determines size and shape of a cell, provides strengths, protects against pathogens and abiotic stresses, and controls transport processes. The plant cell wall as a whole is most important for the texture of plant-based foods such as fruits and vegetables. In addition, individual constituents determine food texture, e.g. arabinoxylans in bread, and/or can be used as thickening or gelling agents, e.g. pectins. Because cell walls are the main source of dietary fiber for most of the population, cell components, which belong to the dietary fiber complex and generate interest for their health benefits, e.g. non-starch polysaccharides and lignin, are among our target molecules. Besides food applications, cell walls and their constituents are in the focus as a source of biofuels. The physicochemical properties of the cell wall polymers are not only dependent on the chemical structures of the individual compounds but also on their interactions. Thus, our group also studies plant cell wall cross-links such as oligomeric hydroxycinnamic acids and their impact on the cell wall and plant foods. Besides cell wall polymers and their cross-links, we are interested in certain low-molecular weight phytochemicals, their formation as a response to different types of stress, their fate during food processing, and their potential physiological effects in animals and humans.



Recent Publications


Urbat, F.; Müller, P.; Hildebrand A.; Wefers D.; Bunzel, M.* Comparison and optimization of different protein nitrogen quantitation and residual protein characterization methods in dietary fiber preparations. Front Nutr. 2019, 6, 127 (8 pages).


Siebert, T.*; Becker, A.; Bunzel, M.; Zuber, M.; Hamann, E.; Baumbach, T.; Karbstein, H.P.; Gaukel, V. Evaluation of the usefulness of serial combination processes for drying of apples. Drying Technol. 2019, in press.


Waterstraat, M.; Bunzel, M.* A stable isotope dilution approach to analyze ferulic acid oligomers in plant cell walls using liquid chromatography - tandem mass spectrometry. Anal. Bioanal. Chem. 2019, 411, 5047-5062.


Beer, F.; Urbat, F.; Franz, C.M.A.P.; Huch, M.; Kulling, S.E.; Bunzel, M.; Bunzel, D.* The human fecal microbiota metabolizes foodborne heterocyclic aromatic amines by reuterin conjugation and further transformations. Mol. Nutr. Food Res. 2019, 63, 1801177 (15 pages).


Ackermann, S.M.; Lachenmeier, D.W.*; Kuballa, T.; Schütz, B.; Spraul, M.; Bunzel, M. NMR-based differentiation of conventionally from organically produced chicken eggs in Germany. Magn. Res. Chem. 2019, in press.


Schäfer, J.; Sattler, M.; Iqbal, Y.; Lewandowski, I.; Bunzel, M.*; Characterization of Miscanthus cell wall polymers. GCB Bioenergy, 2019, 11, 191-205.


Bechtner, J.; Wefers, D.; Schmid, J.; Vogel, R. F.; Jakob, F.* Identification and comparison of two closely related dextransucrases released by water kefir borne Lactobacillus hordei TMW 1.1822 and Lactobacillus nagelii TMW 1.1827. Microbiology 2019, in press.


Fischer, A.; Wefers, D.* Chromatographic analysis of alginate degradation by five recombinant alginate lyases from Cellulophaga algicola DSM 14237. Food Chem. 2019, in press.


Klingel, T.; Hadamjetz, M.; Fischer, A.; Wefers, D.* Glucosylation of flavonoids and flavonoid glycosides by mutant dextransucrase from Lactobacillus reuteri TMW 1.106. Carbohydr. Res. 2019, in press.


Münkel, F.; Bechtner, J.; Eckel, V.; Fischer, A.; Herbi, F.; Jakob, F.; Wefers, D.* Detailed structural characterization of glucans produced by glucansucrases from Leuconostoc citreum TMW 2.1194. J. Agric. Food Chem. 2019, 67, 6856-6866.


Münkel, F.; Wefers, D.* Fine structures of different dextrans assessed by isolation and characterization of endo-dextranase liberated isomalto-oligosaccharides. Carbohydr. Polym. 2019, 215, 296-306.


Nachtigall, C.*; Berger, C.; Kovanović, T.; Wefers, D.; Jaros, D.; Rohm, H. Shear induced molecular changes of exopolysaccharides from lactic acid bacteria. Food Hydrocolloids 2019, in press.


Prechtl, R. M.; Wefers, D.*; Jakob, F.*; Vogel, R. F. Structural characterization of the surface‑associated heteropolysaccharide of Lactobacillus plantarum TMW 1.1478 and genetic analysis of its putative biosynthesis cluster. Carbohydr. Polym. 2018, 202, 236-245.


Wefers, D.; Bindereif, B.; Karbstein, H. P.; van der Schaaf, U. S. Whey protein-pectin conjugates: Linking the improved emulsifying properties to molecular and physico-chemical characteristics. Food Hydrocolloids 2018, 85, 257-266. 


Xu, D.; Fels, L.; Wefers, D.; Behr, J.; Jakob, F.*; Vogel, R. F. Lactobacillus hordei dextrans induce Saccharomyces cerevisiae aggregation and network formation on hydrophilic surfaces. Int. J. Biol. Macromol. 2018, 115, 236-242.


Prechtl, R. M., Wefers, D., Jakob, F.*, Vogel, R. F. Cold and salt stress modulate amount, molecular and macromolecular structure of a Lactobacillus sakei dextran. Food Hydrocolloids 2018, 82, 73-81.


Fels, L.; Jakob, F.; Vogel, R. F.; Wefers, D.* Structural characterization of the exopolysaccharides from water kefir. Carbohydr. Polym. 2018, 189, 296-303.


Wefers, D.*; Flörchinger, R.; Bunzel, M. Detailed structural characterization of arabinans and galactans of 14 apple cultivars before and after cold storage. Front. Plant Sci. 2018, 9, 1451 (12 pages).


Waterstraat, M.; Bunzel, M.* A multi-step chromatographic approach to purify radically generated ferulate oligomers reveals naturally occurring 5-5/8-8(cyclic)-, 8-8(noncyclic)/8-O-4-, and 5-5/8-8(noncyclic)-coupled dehydrotriferulic acids. Front. Chem. 2018, 6, 190 (10 pages).


Taghouti, M.; Martins-Gomes, C.; Schäfer, J.; Felix, L.M.; Santos, J.A.; Bunzel, M.; Nunes, F.M.; Silva, A.M.; Thymus pulegioides L. as a rich source of antioxidant, anti-proliferative and neuroprotective phenolic compounds. Food Funct. 2018, 9, 3617-3629.


Reichardt, N.; Vollmer, M.; Holtrop, G.; Farquharson, F.; Wefers, D.; Bunzel, M.; Duncan, S.H.; Drew, J.E.; Williams, L.; Milligan, G.; Preston, T.; Morrison, D.; Flint, H.J.; Louis, P.* Specific substrate-driven changes in human faecal microbiota composition contrast with functional redundancy in short-chain fatty acid production. ISME J. 2018, 12, 610-622.


Martins-Gomes, C.; Taghouti, M.; Schäfer, J.: Bunzel, M.; Silva, A.M.; Nunes, F.M.*; Chemical characterization and bioactive properties of decoctions and hydroethanolic extracts of Thymus carnosus Boiss. J. Funct. Foods, 2018, 43, 154-164.


Brandt, J.U.; Jakob, F.*; Wefers, D.; Bunzel, M.; Vogel, R.F. Characterization of an acetan-like heteropolysaccharide produced by Kozakia baliensis NBRC 16680. Int. J. Biol. Macromolec. 2018, 106, 248-257.


Fraunhofer, M.E.; Geissler, A.J.; Wefers, D.; Bunzel, M.; Jakob, F.*; Vogel, R.F. Characterization of β-glucan formation by Lactobacillus brevis TMW1.2112 isolated from slimy spoiled beer. Int. J. Biol. Macromolec. 2018, 107, 874-881.


Schäfer, J.; Trierweiler, B.; Bunzel, M.* Maturation-related changes of carrot lignins. J. Sci. Food Agric. 2018, 98, 1016-1023.


Schäfer, J.; Bunzel, M.* Maturation related modifications of cell wall structures of kohlrabi (Brassica oleracea var. gongylodes). Eur. Food Res. Technol. 2017, 244, 893-902.


Wefers, D.*; Dong, J.; Abdel-Hamid, A.M.; Müller Paul, H.; Pereira, G.V.; Han, Y.; Dodd, D.; Baskaran, R.; Mayer, B.; Mackie, R.I.; Cann, I.* Enzymatic mechanism for arabinan degradation and transport in the thermophilic bacterium Caldanaerobius polysaccharolyticus. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 2017, 83, e00794-17. 


Wefers, D.; Cavalcante, J.J.V.; Schendel, R.R.; Deveryshetty, J.; Wang, K.; Wawrzak, Z.; Mackie, R.I.; Koropatkin, N.M.; Cann, I.* Biochemical and structural analyses of two cryptic esterases in Bacteroides intestinalis and their synergistic activities with cognate xylanases. J. Mol. Biol. 2017, 429, 2509-2527.


Dhakarey, R.; Raorane, M.L.; Treumann, T.; Peethambaran, P.K.; Schendel, R.R.; Sahi, V.P.; Hause, B.; Bunzel, M.; Henry, A.; Kohli, A.; Riemann, M.* Functional and molecular analysis of the rice mutant cpm2 suggests a negative regulatory role of jasmonic acid in drought tolerance. Front. Plant Sci. 2017, 8, 1903 (17 pages).


Beer, F.; Urbat, F.; Steck, J.; Huch, M.; Bunzel, D.*; Bunzel, M.; Kulling, S.E. Metabolism of food-borne heterocyclic aromatic amines by Lactobacillus reuteri DSM 20016. J. Agric. Food Chem. 2017, 65, 6797-6811.


Leiter, A.*; Mailänder, J.; Wefers, D.; Bunzel, M.; Gaukel, V. Influence of acid hydrolysis and dialysis of κ-carrageenan on its ice recrystallization inhibition activity. J. Food Eng. 2017, 209, 26-35.


Dilokpimol, A.; Mäkelä, M.R.; Mansouri, S.; Belova, O.; Waterstraat, M.; Bunzel, M.; de Vries, R.P.; Hilden, K.* Expanding the feruloyl esterase gene family of Aspergillus niger by characterization of a feruloyl esterase, FaeC. New Biotechnol. 2017, 37, 200-209.


Ackermann, S.; Dolsophon, K.; Monakhova, Y.B.; Steliopoulos, P.; Kuballa, T.; Reusch, H.; Thongpanchang, T.; Bunzel, M.; Lachenmeier, D.W.* Automated multicomponent analysis of soft drinks using 1D ¹H and 2D ¹H-¹H J-resolved NMR spectroscopy. Food Anal. Method. 2017, 10, 827-836.


Mack, C; Wefers, D.; Schuster, P.; Weinert, C.H.*; Egert, B.; Bliedung, S.; Trierweiler, B.; Muhle-Goll, C.; Bunzel, M.; Luy, B.; Kulling, S.E.;  Untargeted multi-platform analysis of the metabolome and the non-starch polysaccharides of kiwifruits during postharvest ripening. Postharvest Biol. Technol. 2017, 125, 65-76.


Grossmann, L.; Wefers, D.; Bunzel, M.; Weiss, J.; Zeeb, B.* Accessibility of transglutaminase to induce protein crosslinking in complex food matrices - Influence of network structure. LWT - Food. Sci. Technol. 2017, 75, 271-278.