Date of birth: 8.8.1963

Actual position:

Head of Institute of Analytical Chemistry and Food Chemistry at the Graz University of Technology

Academic Carrer:

Trained analytical chemist, both Master and PhD were carried out at the (former name) Institute of Analytical Chemistry, Micro and Radiochemistry (TUG) dealing with organic trace analysis. In the late 80ies I established the method for dioxin analysis at the institute.

1993 I moved to the Institute of Food Chemistry and Food Technology where I established the research group for “aroma analysis”. With the retirement of the institute’s head 2008 the Institute was liquidated and I was reintegrated in the Institute of Analytical Chemistry. At that time the institute was renamed to the today´s name.

Research Focus:

Identification of odor active substances in food and food contact materials. For this purpose two different areas are combined in quite a unique way which gives the research group a clear stand alone position in Austria.

Research activity 1: Sensory Analysis

We are running a trained expert panel (since 2003 under supervision of Dr. Barbara SIEGMUND) with 16 trained experts in the panel today. 2013 we moved to the new sensory lab fully equipped with 15 booth and all required installation for proper testing according to different norms.

Since several years we offer sensory training courses (basic and advanced) usually two times a year each, under the LIFE LONG LEARNING programme of the TUG.

Beside we offer specific sensory courses on selected topic on request for companies.

The following topics were covered for different companies:

  • milk and milk products
  • bread
  • meat and meat products
  • edible oils with special focus on pumpkin seed and olive oil
  • distillates
  • wine and beer
  • food packaging material

These seminars normally deal with production technology, chemical reactions and off-flavor and flavor formation. During the courses over 500 participants from local food industry were trained.

In addition we give sensory courses for the judges of the Styrian competition for fruit jucies, cider, liquers, distillates and vinegar.

Research activity 2: Instrumental Analysis

The research group possesses a highly specific instrumentation for the identification of odor active molecules mainly based on gas chromatographic technique. The following instruments are available:

  • GC-FID/FPD (sulfur mode) dual detection
  • GC-NPD/PID dual detection
  • 3 GC-qMS
  • High speed GC with hydrogen as carrier gas (FID, ECD)
  • GC-qMS (NCI)
  • GCxGC-qMS (EI, PCI, NCI)
  • GC-MS/MS
  • GC-FID/ECD (chiral separation)
  • 3 systems with GC-Olfactometry (polar, non-polar and MDGC)

Sample preparation:

Well equipped for high through put analysis using CTTC combi PAL autosamples mainly in combination with SPME.

Also available: ITEX, SPDE, thermal desorption, Mono trap, head space

Simultaneous distillation extraction

I also give training courses for industrial partners on the following topics:

  • Basic gas chromatography
  • Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry
  • Sample preparation for chromatography
  • SPME and related methods

Teaching activities:

  • Basic analytical chemistry
  • Instrumental analytical chemistry
  • Food chemistry and technology
  • Lab course on environmental and food biotechnology
  • Aroma Analysis

Lecturer for the following institutions (past and on-going):

  • University of Teacher Education Styria and Carinthia
  • FH Tulln
  • FH Graz
  • FH Wels

Erich Leitner