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Max Rubner-Institut turns ten

Federal research institute anniversary

Ten years ago to the day, the official ceremony to mark the founding of the Max Rubner-Institut was held. On 28.3.2008, the Federal Research Institute of Nutrition and Food was not only given the name “Max Rubner-Institut” but was also created in its current form, amalgamating several previously independent federal research institutions.

A lot has happened in those ten years: the various institutions conducting research into nutrition and food that, in some cases, could look back on a hundred-year history became one research institute with outstanding expertise in both the food and nutrition sectors. This convincing concept, which combines the two research fields in one institute, is unique in Germany to this day, even though topics like the reformulation of food products or food shelf-life are unthinkable without involving various research disciplines like food technology, ecotrophology, chemistry, biology and medicine.

In the ten years during which Max Rubner-Institut scientists have been working together, initially at six, then five and soon probably at just four sites, major technological changes have taken place: whilst at the beginning people had to use a train or car to meet up and discuss their common topics, today, modern communication media such as video and web-based conferences facilitate personal ideas-sharing.

Max Rubner – Max who? Ten years ago, only surprisingly few people knew who Max Rubner was – Robert Koch’s successor at the Charité who produced fundamental knowledge still of relevance today. It was his research on the energy content of food, for example, that laid the foundations for the calorific table that has become such an integral part of many people’s lives. Only well-informed consumers are aware that he also coined the term “dietary fibre” in Germany, which denotes one of the Max Rubner-Institut’s research topics. Thus, initially, it was quite difficult to familiarise people with the name Max Rubner-Institut. Amongst those with an interest in research at least, this has now been achieved, but the Max Rubner-Institut is still working hard to make sure even more people in Germany and around the world know what to associate with this name.

Ten years – for some of the federal institutions that were amalgamated in the Max Rubner-Institut this was just a short phase in their history, but it was still a major step for research into nutrition and food in Germany. The anniversary is being celebrated with an open-house day at all the sites (information to follow) and a colloquium in Berlin which will focus on the importance of the research conducted by the Max Rubner-Institut for political consultancy and thus for consumers as a whole.

Max Rubner-Institut turns ten – not a reason to sit back and relax but to continue striving for improvement and to fulfil the institute’s mission – political consultancy in the field of nutrition and food as well as research for the benefit of society – with the same aspirations and the same high quality as ever.