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News 2021

iFZ Masters Preis 2021

Plant-based food contains powerful effective compounds which contribute to our homeostasis. Dorena Sauter was granted the iFZ Masters Preis 2021 for her master thesis in the field of bioactivity profiling of botanicals. Congratulations! Our latest research paper on this topic...

Leben heißt Veränderung 

Forscher mit disruptiven Ideen an der Forschungsfront in der Analytik wurden schon immer als ein bißchen verrückt bezeichnet. Es ist nur so, dass das Verrückte hier in Gießen sehr gut klappt. Die Veränderung wird kommen - und anscheinend gibt es schon ein Rudel an Analytikern, die das auch so sehen, was mich natürlich sehr sehr freut! Szene aus einem weltweit führenden Dienstleistungsunternehmen im Bereich Laboruntersuchungen: "Wir hörten gerade im Rahmen einer in-House-Schulung von einer verrückten Professorin mit Dünnschichtchromatographie. Ich habe mich wie ein Löwe vor Sie geworfen." 

Analytical Eco-Scale 

The chemical industry has no choice but to become more sustainable - and that includes the analytics it uses. It is finally time to do what we have stood for for 30 years. HPTLC is proven to be a comparatively very environmentally friendly methodology! Read more in a latest publication (Fast detection of apricot product frauds by added pumpkin via planar chromatography and chemometrics: greenness assessment by analytical Eco-Scale). If you like to learn the hyphenated method, you can join our course in 2022.

Csaba Horváth Memorial Award

The Csaba Horváth Memorial Award was founded in 2004 by the Hungarian Society for Separation Sciences and is presented jointly with the Connecticut Separation Science Council. The award honors renowned scientists in the field of separation science in memory of the Hungarian scientist Csaba Horváth (1930-2004), who built the first high performance liquid chromatograph demonstrating the feasibility and potential in bioseparation sciences, nowadays a billion dollar market. Further information on and obituary from colleague and institution of this exceptional scientist.
In 2021, the 25th anniversary of the society was celebrated. At this point, our best wishes and a successful continuation for the next 25! At this anniversary, the Csaba Horváth Memorial Award was awarded for the first time to the field of planar chromatography and to a female researcher. Waoh! I am very grateful and speechless. My sincere thanks go to the Award Committee as well as my coworkers and research partners working together with me on HPTLC in the past 30 years.

Screenshots during the digital award ceremony, held by Prof. Dr. Attila Felinger


Dorena Sauter was awarded the "OECOTROPHICA-Preis 2021 im Bereich Mikronährstoffe" for her master thesis in the field of bioactivity profiling of botanicals. The prize was awarded to her digitally on the 16.09.2021. Congratulations!

Sponsorship award

Maren Friz was granted for her bachelor thesis in the field of bioactivity profiling of botanicals with the "Sponsorship award for outstanding achievements in the field of HPTLC" by Elke Hahn-Deinstrop, who authored the well-known book on Applied Thin-Layer Chromatography: Best Practice and Avoidance of Mistakes, and Dr. Heinz Hauck, who led the HPTLC research at Merck for more than 3 decades. Congratulations!

The sponsors!

The award certificate was handed over to Maren Friz on the 09.09.2021 by me due to health issues of the sponsors. The best recovery! The book presented is "Ausgerechnet Maui: Ein Kriminalfall aus Hawai" by Elke Hahn-Deinstrop.

Guests on earth

Within 10 days another hard loss of a dear colleague that the experts are shocked. Joe was an amazing scientist - fully dedicated and devoted to planar chromatography. He was utmost productive and hard working all the time, and I was touched. He remains in our hearts, for sure! I had a lot of contacts with him over the past 30 years. Several times a year he emailed questions succinctly about this or that aspect in the subject, I really liked that he was so direct and got right to the point. Each time he expected a very prompt response!! Occasionally, he wrote a letter and send along his latest publications, I invited him several times to symposia, but we never met because he was said to have a fear of flying. I even thought of visiting him once, but I had not managed this, explained by my double load. Here an obituary from a mentee who knew him also privately very well. Very touching!

Guests on earth

Rudolf was a very dedicated and highly passionated research scientist. He was always a supporter and great friend of HPTLC, which was closest to his heart - despite his otherworldly expertise in GC and HPLC! His words carried great weight, even if quite a few of his companions did not understand his progressive thinking. I loved his wit and irony in conversation, and at the same time his twinkling eyes! He was fast in thinking, a result of his tough challenges in life which he mastered excellently. He was one of my favorite scientist examples and he will remain in our memory forever.


Nette Überaschung per email.... "Ich habe vor etwa 24 Jahren in Tübingen, bei Dr. Kovar, einen Kurs besucht. Neben mir stand ein Korb, mit einem Kind, und vorne eine sehr attraktive Mutter."
Das Kind war nicht mal 4 Wochen alt und ist inzwischen 20 cm größer als ich. Der Vortrag war am 6.10.1997 zur AMD–Technik im DC-Kurs Moderne Dünnschicht-Chromatographie im pharmazeutischen und forensischen Labor, Institut für Pharmazeutische Chemie, Universität Tübingen.

Interview mit Achim Halfmann

Industrielle Lebensmittelproduktion, Werbung an Kinder und die gesunde Ernährung
Fast wöchentlich Telefonate mit Journalisten/-innen, die Hintergrundinformationen erfragen, um spezielle Beiträge rund um das Lebensmittel zu schreiben. Letzte Woche für Planet wissen oder Südwestpresse....

Course on Effect-Directed Analysis

We offer you the opportunity to learn how straightforwardly non-target screening strategies can be developed, applied and used sustainably. It is always an advantage to know important bioactive  components, including unknown unknowns or contaminants or non-intentially added substances that matter. More details here... "As not every detected unknown compound in complex mixtures can be elucidated in its structure, a decision on priority has to be made. The effect-directed detection supports decision makers and points to bioactive compounds considered as first priority compounds." Cited from our study on a fast and generic 8D hyphenation strategy, which clearly shows the gain in information about your sample. Plant-based food contains powerful effective compounds which contribute to our homeostasis, as evident in a latest paper on effect-directed detection.


All nations will start to officially always use the female form of address to compensate for the past 1000 years of the male form and create a balance? And they will only stop doing so when there is equal freedom for both genders worldwide. The generic femininum is used for better readability. Male and other gender identities are explicitly included as far as it is necessary for the statement.
Discrimination is not experienced until the end of studies or doctorate, it is first in the profession that a secret subtle mechanism prevails in the labor market when a female is of childbearing age:

From my perspective, there is no other tool than the mandatory parity parental leave on equal terms. One year the mother and one year the father stays at home for childcare per child. Career failures are then the same for both sexes. No more unwritten laws like man cannot stay at home because of stigmatization, or salary for the same quality work differs by 15%. Fairness is the solution.
Mothers dependend: 100% =>  Mothers independend: 50%
Fathers dependend: 0% => Fathers dependend: 50%

Unterschätzte Technik

"Danke für die Unterlagen. Wenn ich auf Ihre umfangreichen Analysen schaue dann dürfte die TLC Methode derzeit doch ein sehr unterschätztes Analysenverfahren sein. Man benötigt aber sicher mehr Liebe/Verständnis für Chemie (Extraktion, Laufmittel, Schutz der Platten nach der Entwicklung usw.) um so lineare Kalibrationen und gute Ergebnisse für Analysen aus so einer Probenmatrix zu erhalten."
Sehr gute Einschätzung und tatsächlich arbeiten wir mit Liebe, Effizienz und Kreativität. Alles außer Mainstream wird unterschätzt, und das macht es gerade so wertvoll.

Open source developments

The vision is the use of miniaturized planar chromatography in Citizen Science. The latest open source systems in planar chromatography (free download of open source files from GitHub):


The LabToGo system is explored in a running cooperation with Harald Lippke, Leiter Laborgruppe Zentrale Dienste, Zentrales Institut des Sanitätsdienstes der Bundeswehr München, Abteilung B - Lebensmittelchemie und Ökochemie (in the middle; left Prof. Dr. W. Schwack).

Guests on earth

We lost an internationally highly recognized scientist in the field of chromatographyProfessor Jork organized with his group, of which I was a member, a Summer School at the Russian Academy of Science in 1993 where we met for the first time, and other times at further symposia. He gave me a book on Tswett he wrote, and a coffee cup showing first planar chromatograms of Shreiber (the way he thought to write this name is correct) and Ismailov in 1938. He was a highly dedicated and devoted scientist, a bit shy and modest, but very cordial. Each time it was a great pleasure to meet him. We will not forget him and his lifework.

Sensory experts

Around 110 food science students have successfully qualified in sensory science. 80 participants even completed the two sensory modules with the DLG Sensory Manager Junior® certificate of the German Agricultural Society (DLG), for which a fee is charged. The first module deals with sensory basics and an introduction to sensory project management to receive an overview of the essential building blocks of human sensory science. In the second module, there is a deepening of sensory knowledge and an insight into special topics with high practical relevance. In addition to specific methods and case studies from product development, market research and quality assurance, these also include Food Sensor Technology 4.0 and Instrumental Sensor Technology, for example electronic noses. Renowned experts such as Dr. Eva Derndorfer, Dr. Alexander Quadt, Dr. Sonja Schwarz, Christoph Sippel, Albrecht Kessel as well as representatives of SensoPlus and Winopal reported on their special topics.

Tray preparation for the sensory exercises

Master students take their trays to the lecture halls

All was well-prepared thanks to DLG and Food Science group


Recyclingpapierfreundlichste Hochschule?

... an unserer Arbeitsgruppe liegt es nicht.
Pointiertes Video.... bereits unter news 2016 gepostet ....
Glückwunsch an unsere "Nachbar"-Universität Marburg!

Collaborative brain storming

The MIT Center for Collective Intelligence, Community Biotechnology Initiative at MIT Media Lab, and the Life Science business of Merck convened more than 180 experts and global leaders in science, healthcare, public policy, and other sectors for a three-week exercise to address the following challenge: How can we develop pandemic resilience — the ability for society to recover quickly from global disease outbreaks? Here the final report...

Think ahead

What we recognize today in our research will be published in 2 years, read in 3 years, applied in 5 years at the earliest! In some ideas, we are feeling 10 years ahead...
The more powerful technology is, the more problems are solved that did not exist before.
Every discovery leads to the realization that we know less than before, which humbles us!
In other words, each gain in knowledge increases the complexity not seen before!
We know that analytical chemistry provides the basis of all our knowledge. In a wider perspective... the same applies to our analyzed samples as for our brain functionalities as for a single cell as for the universe: Imagine a picture of which you see only 5%, and then imagine what you think it is. There are many illusions about what it can be. The fact is that 95% of the universe cannot be seen with our most sophisticated techniques. It is of a completely different nature, and we have no clue what kind of material or energy it is. All the detectors we have created so far do not work to detect it. All is in interaction but at different reaction speeds. The activity of the universe looks like a neural brain network, just working at a different pace. Most of the functionalities of the brain as for the universe are unkown.

Podcast zum Lebensmitteleinkauf

Lebensmittel gibt es in unterschiedlichen Angebotsformen: frisch, tiefgekühlt oder in der Konserve. Doch was ist am Gesündesten? Was kaufe ich ein, wie lagere und wie bereite ich die Lebensmittel am besten zu.
Hier der Link zur ahs-Homepage der JLU und zum Podcast.

Low-cost open-source strategies for chemical separations

In a latest review in JCA by Joshua Davis, Samuel Foster and James Grinias our research work was cited: "Perhaps the truest “open-source chromatography” examples are the ones that have been demonstrated for planar separations [153]. Low-cost 3D printers have been adapted to print silica gels directly onto TLC plates [154], improve sample spotting prior to analysis [155,156], and deliver mobile phase [157]. The combined “Office Chromatography” open-source platform is available with full build instructions and software to enable sample introduction, plate development, and spot imaging in a single instrument (Figure 5) [155]. Improved software for multivariate analysis of imaged HPTLC plates [158] and a 3D printed add-on to enable sampling from plates for MS analysis [159] have further increased the capabilities of “Office Chromatography”. With easy sample transfer from the plates, submicromole level 1H-NMR spectra can be obtained following TLC separation [160]."
Thank you, especially for the first sentence which you formed by mere literature study, as we never had contact!