Scientific studies on the composition and quality of the foodstuff fish have a long tradition in Germany. On 1 October 1920 Rudolf Baader founded on the site of his company "Nordischer Maschinenbau" in Lübeck an expert technical advisory service for issues and problems in fish processing (Fachtechnische Beratungsstelle für alle auf dem Gebiet der Fischverarbeitung auftretenden Fragen und Probleme). The creation of this institution was indirectly the birth of today's research on fish quality.
In 1921 the institution was renamed in „Forschungsinstitut für die Fischindustrie GmbH“ (research institute for the fish industry).In the first two years Peter Biegler, a practitioner with a large experience in fish processing, was the head of the institute.From 1922-1929 the fisheries biologist Dr. Hanns Lengerich took over the leadership. The move to Hamburg at the actual Elbchaussee occurred during his term.Under Dr. Herbert Metzner (1930-1941) the Institute was renamed once again in„Institut für Fischverarbeitung“ (Institute for Fish Processing) (1939) and was incorporated into the „Reichsanstalt für Fischerei“ (imperial institute for fisheries under the Third Reich). A renewed move to Hamburg Altona/Große Bergstraße took place.After Metzner’s departure the fisheries biologist Dr. Fritz Lücke led the institute until his retirement in 1952.During the Second World War the building of the institute was destructed and the remaining staff was hosted at the „Institut für Fischverwertung“ (institute for fish recovery) in Wesermünde (now located in Bremerhaven).Already in 1945 the institute moved back to Hamburg in the old premises in the Elbchaussee In 1949 the "Reichsanstalt für Fischerei“ was renamed in „Zentralanstalt für Fischerei“ (central institute for fisheries). In 1953 the institute was finally established as „Bundesforschungsanstalt für Fischerei“ (federal research centre for fisheries - BFA) and encompassed the „Institut für Fischverarbeitung“ (institute for fish processing). After Dr. Lutz Lücke followed the chemist Dr. Walter Ludorff, whose very successful leadership ended in 1963. During his term the move to the present premises of the BFA for fisheries at Palmaille took place in 1962. The Ludorff era was marked by efforts to increase the quality of fish and fish products, waiving the previously abundant preservatives used. Physical, sensory and chemical methods were developed for freshness estimation. Under Ludorff’s successor, the physiologist Dr. Fritz Bramstedt, the institute was renamed in “Institut für Biochemie und Technologie“ (Institute of Biochemistry and Technology), a more scientific-sounding name. But two years later, in 1964, Fritz Bramstedt left the institute as he had accepted a professorship at the University of Würzburg. From 1965 to 1974, the microbiologist Dr. Victor Meyer led the institute. During this period, the WEFTA (Western European Fish Technologists' Association) was founded. Under EEFTA governmental and European universitarian institutions dealing with fish technology cooperated, thus increasingly involving the institute in European activities. After the departure of Dr. Victor Meyer, Dr. Wolfgang Schreiber took over the leadership until 1995. The years 1975-1986 were largely determined by the participation in the Antarctic expeditions of the Federal Republic of Germany. The main activities were the investigations of krill as well as its processing capabilities to a marketable product. Since the late 60s, the Institute has been involved in the development of standards of the FAO / WHO Codex Alimentarius Committee on Fish and fish products . After the departure of Dr. Schreiber the chemist Dr. Hartmut Rehbein became acting director. In 2001 the merger of the institute for fisheries technology with the institute for biochemistry and technology, the Department for Fisheries Technology and Fish Quality of the Federal Research Centre for Fisheries was established. The research "fish quality" is under the remit of the Federal Research Centre of Nutrition and Food since 1 January 2004.
(Compiled on the basis of the commemorative publication for the 75th anniversary of the Institute of Biochemistry and Technology, publications of the Federal Research Centre for Fisheries No. 24, 1997)