2014 Brunswick

5th SEC annual meeting, Braunschweig, May 6-8, 2014

Erudition and conviviality (report)

Aktive Konferenzteilnehmer
Diskussion mit jungen Lebensmittelchemikern

Senior chemists and young chemists met from May 6th to 8th, 2014 for ?High-tech and cutting-edge research in the middle of Germany?, the motto of the 5th annual meeting of Senior Expert Chemists in Braunschweig.

Motivated by the varied professional and cultural program and the opportunity to discuss with colleagues, more than 200 participants and guests came to Braunschweig's town hall. A gathering that has now become a tradition has thus been expanded to include a new top-class event. The focus of this meeting was food chemistry, to which the Braunschweig region makes a major contribution in research, control and industry.

Horst Altenburg, the SEC chairman, opened the annual meeting. Greetings were given by Barbara Albert, Vice President of the GDCh, Johannes Wefer, regional spokesperson for the JCF and Heidemarie Helmsmüller, Lower Saxony Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection. A letter of greeting from Minister Manuela Schwesig was read out; the Ministry for Family, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth, which she heads, once again generously supported our Conference .

In accordance with the special position of food chemistry at this Conference , Thomas Henle began the first series of lectures with the Maillard reaction, a reaction that has changed the world. It is the conversion of reducing carbohydrates with amino components; it determines the smell and taste of thermally prepared foods, but also takes place in the organism, for example in the case of diabetes and aging processes. An overview of research and findings showed the far-reaching importance of this complex reaction. In a very up-to-date lecture that appeals to all food consumers, Axel Preuss then showed how important the scientifically based assessment of food crises and scandals is in order to counteract excessive scare tactics by the media and to point out microbiological dangers that have been neglected. Using typical examples, he demonstrated how risk perception and actual risk often differ greatly from one another.

In the coffee break that followed, there were lively discussions between young and old at the 18 posters. The topics spanned a wide range from chemistry at school and historical considerations to current research in the field of biochemistry. Back in the lecture room, the auditorium listened to the exciting lecture by Thomas Carell. Mass spectrometric analysis and synthesis of isotope-labeled rare DNA bases, beyond Watson and Crick, as well as their possible importance in the epigenetics and development of stem cells were presented and discussed in a lively discussion. ?Biomineralization? was the topic in Rüdiger Kniep's lecture . The fascinating observation that self-organized biominerals are formed from simple ?ingredients? such as gelatine and aqueous ion solutions, he showed, for example, in the structure of calcite-based otoconia of the inner ear.

Before the evening event, Braunschweig's mayor Rohse-Paul welcomed the conference participants. The renowned historian Gerd Biegel then took the auditorium on a journey through time through the centuries, with Braunschweig, the city of Henry the Lion and famous citizens such as Gauß, Spohr and Lessing at the center.

Wednesday morning began with a lecture by Ralf Thomas (VW-AG), which showed the importance a global corporation attaches to the voluntary commitment of its employees - an incentive for the SEC to continue on its path.

Sexual reproduction has the advantage over cloning of organisms that the offspring can react more flexibly to external threats such as infections. As Manfred Milinski showed, the sense of smell plays an essential role when choosing a partner. Joachim Ullrich reported on the entire spectrum of the work of the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB). The fact that one second can be measured with an accuracy of 10-18 is something the audience almost ticked under "nice to know". However, if you consider the consequences of incorrect time measurement, for example in road traffic, metrology takes on a very practical role. Not to mention global stock exchange trading via computer networks.

The participants in the excursion to the Herzog August Library and the Lessing House showed their open-mindedness for the humanities. Under competent guidance, the treasures of the library were presented and the origin and today's significance of the collection were presented by the Head of the house, Helwig Schmidt-Glintzer. Participants who were more interested in technology went on an excursion to Wolfsburg to explore the Phaeno or the Autostadt.

A festive dinner afterwards was accompanied by further greetings (Jasmin Bauerfeind, Young Food Chemist) and an eloquent lecture by Ulrich Nöhle about the double moral in advertising and reporting, especially for food.

The next morning, Franz Effenberger showed that a technical variant of photosynthesis could be economically feasible - namely the hydrogenation of CO2 with excess hydrogen (through water electrolysis with electricity from wind and solar systems) to methane or methanol. In line with this, Christan Deusner reported on large amounts of methane in the ice (gas hydrates). Hennig Hopf spiced up his lecture on creativity in basic research with numerous quotes from famous chemists. The conclusion was a very amusing lecture by Klaus Roth about sweeteners. Shortly before 1914 there was saccharin prohibition across Europe; As usual with such bans, it unleashed the creativity of the most adventurous smugglers.

The high quality of the lectures and posters, the stimulating discussions and, last but not least, the good organization, especially by Hans-Uwe von Grabowski and the GDCh: all of this made the conference participants look forward to the next SEC annual meeting in Münster (June 7-9 2016).

Ursula Kraska, Weiterstadt
Wolfgang Gerhartz, Zwingenberg


Many, but not all, presentations are available in PDF format. If you are interested, send an email to Wolfgang Gerhartz

Tuesday 6 May 2014

  • The human age - a baking process?
Thomas Henle
  • Perceived and actual risks with today's foods
Axel Preuss
  • DNA bases beyond Watson and Crick
Thomas Carell
  • biomineralization
Ruediger Kniep
  • Braunschweig - a metropolis in the course of the centuries
Gerd Biegel

Wednesday 7 May 2012

  • Voluntary commitment and senior expert assignments using the example of Volkswagen AG
Ralph Thomas
  • The scent of genes
Manfred Milinski
  • PTB: Core competence metrology - yesterday, today and in the future
Joachim Ullrich
  • Everyone wants to get back to nature - just not on foot
Ulrich Noehle

Thursday, May 8, 2012

  • Technical photosynthesis
Franz Effenberger
  • Gas hydrates on the sea floor - from cold methane sources to energy resources
Christian Deusner
  • How is something new created?
Henning Hopf
  • Chemistry at its sweetest: from saccharin to stevia
Klaus Roth

Posters by young and old

At the 5th SEC annual meeting, we again invited young chemists from the wider Braunschweig area to present their research work in the form of posters and to discuss them with interested seniors. The young food chemists were also present at our Conference with an information stand and posters. For the first time, we also invited members of the Senior Expert Chemists their research work or hobbies in the form of posters.

Photo gallery Braunschweig


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last modified: 18.08.2023 17:59 H from Translator