stable isotope analysis

working group stable isotope analysis

Composition of the working group

The working group has existed since July 2001; z. It currently has 16 active and 11 corresponding members (state-certified food chemists, chemists and natural scientists) from universities, state food monitoring, independent trade laboratories and the food industry.

General objectives


  • Standardization, optimization of measurement processes, provision of reference substances, standards
  • Preparation of scientific position papers on methods and assessment bases
  • Development of assessment bases, creation of databases
  • Provision of information and training
  • Participation in other scientific committees, publications and lectures
  • Cooperation and exchange of experiences, especially with other LChG working groups

Head of the working group


Dr. Antje Schellenberg
Bavarian State Office for
Health and food safety
Veterinärstr. 2
85764 Oberschleissheim
Tel .: 09131 6808-5586

Deputy Chairman

Dr. Wolfgang Armbruster
University of Hohenheim
Institute of food chemistry
and analytical chemistry


Lars Meier
Symrise AG
Flavor Division - Research & Technology
Applied Research - Flavor Analysis

Term of office 2020 - 2022

Work areas

Use of multi-element / multicomponent stable isotope analysis, in particular the isotope ratio mass spectrometry (IRMS), and the deuterium nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR) to the origin and authenticity determination of foodstuffs, in particular for


  • Beverages (fruit juice, wine, beer, liquors)
  • Plant-based foods (e.g. fruit, vegetables, honey, oils)
  • Milk, dairy products, eggs, meat, fish
  • flavorings, aromas

Current topics


  • Standardization, comparative laboratory studies of methods of measurement and sample preparation for stable isotope analysis and assessment of vanillin, and vanilla flavors
  • Calibration of stable isotope ratio measurements with reference standards
  • Apple juice and berry fruit database
  • Oxygen isotope analysis on ethanol from fermented pineapple juice

Position and basic papers

Position papers


  • Isolation of the protein fraction from milk for the analysis of the stable isotope ratios (2020) ( pdf )
  • Intra and inter laboratory reference materials for multi element stable isotope analysis in food authentication (2018) ( pdf )
  • Possibilities and limits of oxygen isotope analysis of water in determining the origin of food (2009) ( pdf )
  • Tasks and possibilities of isotope ratio analysis in the origin and authenticity analysis of meat (2007) ( pdf )
  • Position paper: Possibilities for differentiating between foods from conventional and organic production by isotope ratio analysis (2005) ( pdf )

Foundation paper

  • Origin and authenticity of vanilla (the LCHG working groups "flavorings" and "stable isotope analysis")( pdf )

In this basic paper, the common criteria for assessing the authenticity of vanilla flavors are presented and subjected to a critical examination. An overview is given of the common methods of chromatography, stable isotope mass spectrometry and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy as well as their areas of application for the analysis of vanilla flavors.

Current links

working group

Monitoring / quality control

Trade laboratories / industrial associations


Trace project



Annual report 2020

Annual report 2019

Annual report 2018

Annual report 2017

Annual report 2016

2015 annual report

2014 annual report

2013 annual report

Annual report 2012

2011 annual report

Annual report 2010

Annual report 2009

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