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legal form GmbH
founding 2002
Seat Jülich , Königskamp industrial park, Germany
management Markus Boner (Managing Director)
Branch Investigation center for food, agriculture and environmental protection
As of November 16, 2016

The Agroisolab GmbH is a laboratory for food, agricultural raw materials and organic materials of all kinds. The company specializes in our stable isotope analysis in the areas of declaration and origin verification and traceability.


In 2002, the isotope laboratory of the Jülich Research Center was spun off under the direction of Hilmar Förstel and continued as a GmbH under the name Agroisolab . The majority shareholder today is Managing Director Markus Boner (* 1971), a food chemist who obtained his doctorate with distinction in 2004 on determining the origin of organic beef using stable isotopes. Agroisolab is Europe's first and largest privately owned laboratory in the field of stable isotope analysis by means of isotope spectroscopy (IRMS) for assurance of origin and thus has a dominant market position. Nine isotope ratio mass spectrometers are used to determine the relevant isotopes to ensure regional origins of food, feed, consumer goods and to detect unauthorized additives . The laboratory has developed the detection of recent materials in bio-based plastics and is currently the only company in the world that can detect it.

Core competencies (extract)

  • Proof of prohibited additions
    • Addition of sugar
    • Addition of water
    • Addition of technical carbon dioxide
  • Analytical traceability systems
    • ISO-ID marking system (marking with isotopes)
    • Database based solutions
    • Reference pattern based solutions
  • Batch comparison
  • Geographic origin verification
    • Verification of the declared country of origin
    • Verification of a declared regional origin
    • Verification of a declared producer, field-specific traceability
  • Differentiation between natural and nature-identical additives (e.g. vanilla, vinegar, wine)
  • Quantification of renewable and fossil raw materials

Development projects (examples)

In 2002 and 2003, the Agroisolab company, funded by the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture as part of the federal organic farming program, started the project determination of the origin of organic eggs and their possible differentiation from conventional eggs with the help of the stable isotopes of the organic elements operated.

In the years 2005 to 2008, with funds from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, examinations were carried out to control the origin of forest reproductive material using stable isotopes and genetic methods .

According to the findings of the World Wide Fund For Nature , over 50 percent of the wood in the Amazon , Indonesia and Russia is illegally felled. To prove this, a project was initiated in 2004 by the WWF with the company Agroisolab and financial support from the German Federal Environmental Foundation (DBU) to verify the origins of wood by means of isotope analysis. Similar investigations on illegal logging were carried out as DBU projects from 2006 to 2007 and 2008 to 2010 and as an EU project from 2009 to 2010.

As part of the innovation project Watermark , 1000 reference samples of the products milk, pork, beef, wheat, carrots, eggs, apples, potatoes and soy have been taken from 484 locations or businesses in the state of Hesse since 2013 and the isotope ratio of 18O / 16O, D / H , 13C / 12C, 15N / 14N and 34S / 32S analyzed. This enabled isotopic mapping for the state of Hesse to be established for the aforementioned product types. The results were compiled in a database, which enables future suspicious samples to be compared against the stored reference values. The isotope ratio is characteristic of a region and therefore provides information about the origin of the food. The innovation project watermark was carried out by Agroisolab GmbH in cooperation with the Research Institute for Organic Agriculture (FiBL).

Other important development projects are the seed project and the ivory database .

DAKKS accredited procedures

With the accreditation certificate from the German Accreditation Service (DAKKS) dated February 4, 2016, the following applications from Agroisolab GmbH are accredited until February 3, 2021:

  • Isotope ratio mass spectrometry
    • Determination of the isotope ratio to assess the regionality / origin / identity in solids and liquids by means of mass spectrometry in agricultural raw materials and products, anhydrous biomass, chemicals, food, spices, luxury foods, pesticides, commodities and in agricultural raw materials and products to assess the plant species (photosynthesis)
    • Determination of the isotope ratio for the assessment of nutrition / fertilization in solids and liquids by means of mass spectrometry in agricultural raw materials and fertilizers, in agricultural raw materials for assessing greenhouse cultivation, in feed and animal agricultural products
    • Determination of the isotope ratio to assess adulteration in solids and liquids by means of mass spectrometry to assess the addition of C4 sugar in juice and honey and in the ethanol of alcoholic beverages to assess the sugar / fermentation basis, as well as in vanilla products to assess the naturalness of vanilla flavors and carbon dioxide in sparkling wine, Sparkling wine and beer. Also in vinegar to assess the fermentation basis and in ethanol from wine to assess watering.
  • Liquid Scintillation Spectrometry (LSC)
    • Determination of C14 activity in solids, liquids and gases with liquid scintillation spectrometry using LSC to determine the current content in commodities, fuels, aromatic substances, flue gas, chemicals, lubricants and plastics, activity in agricultural products to assess CO
  • Laser Spectroscopy (ICOS)
    • Procedure for assessing regionality / origin / identity using laser technology and isotope measurement in water


In 2002, Forschungszentrum Jülich, Agroisolab and Agrosom jointly received the Food Processing 2002 cooperation prize from the state of North Rhine-Westphalia. The competition Cooperation and Innovation in the Food Processing NRW process chain is essentially characterized by fast and effective tracing of the origin of a wide variety of foods and distinguishes the most innovative and economically valuable cooperation in the food industry.

The possibility of ensuring authenticity as an innovative application of the stable isotopes was recognized as a best practice example in 2003 within the framework of Agenda 21 and was awarded the technology prize of Forschungszentrum Jülich.

On November 30, 2007, the Aachen city region and the Düren , Euskirchen and Heinsberg districts awarded the 2007 Aachen Region Innovation Prize . In the three areas of founding, growth and handicrafts, from around fifty applications received, in addition to Agroisolab GmbH for the growth category, two more were selected that were of particular interest for the further development of the Aachen region as a business location.

On November 21, 2008, Agroisolab was honored with the Innovation Prize Region Aachen 2008 in the category of growth for a special innovative ability. The reasoning is quoted:

“The competition in the global market and in particular the protection of branded products and protection against liability claims lead to the customer's desire to be able to find products analytically at any time. This is possible with the new marker concept, a patented new measuring technique or a newly developed process, with almost complete protection against forgery. For example, the company can mark special feed for laying hens for a feed manufacturer. This enables the origin of the feed from this feed mill to be verified. In addition, by analyzing the eggs, it can be proven that the farmer actually used this special feed. Agroisolab has developed products with defined and unique markings over the past three years. This guarantees inconspicuous labeling of foodstuffs, commodities and cosmetic / pharmaceutical products without the products being subject to optical or chemical changes. "

- Gaby Mahr-Urfels :

In the media

  • Andrea Rehmsmeier : Hope for a fish . In: FAZ . May 8, 2015.
  • Volker Uerlings: Food detectives expose every fraud . In: Jülich newspaper . September 15, 2006.
  • Elke Hormes: On the trail of fraudulent labeling . In: vegetables . No. 1 . Eugen Ulmer, 2004.
  • Wolfgang Lechner: Abysses of Asparagus . In: The time . June 3, 2004.
  • Peter Hergersberg: The track to the stable . In: The time . January 11, 2001.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. District Court Düren HRB3843
  2. Short biography of Dr. Markus Boner. In: Retrieved November 15, 2016 .
  3. ^ Website of the company Agroisolab , accessed on November 15, 2016
  4. Boner, final report on the determination of the origin of organic eggs , accessed on November 15, 2016
  5. Karl Gebhardt: Control of origin on forest reproductive material with stable isotopes and genetic methods . In: Proceedings of the Symposium Origin Control . Kassel 2008, ISBN 978-3-00-024808-5 .
  6. Light into the darkness of the thicket - How the wood market becomes more transparent , accessed on November 15, 2016
  7. ↑ Final project report , accessed on November 15, 2016
  8. Major projects and research on company website , accessed on November 15, 2016
  9. ^ Tassilo Freiherr von Leoprechting, New Projects on Indications of Origin on Food and Animal Welfare Started , accessed on November 15, 2016
  10. Origin control of forest reproductive material using stable isotopes. Retrieved February 26, 2017 .
  11. ^ Final symposium of the BMBF joint project Origin control of forest reproductive material. Retrieved February 26, 2017 .
  12. Determination of origin and age of ivory. Development of a reference database for origin analysis. Retrieved February 26, 2017 .
  13. site Ivory IVORY database ID. Retrieved February 26, 2017 .
  14. D-PL-14370-01-00
  15. Annex to the accreditation certificate , accessed on November 15, 2016
  16. More safety for food - "Cooperation Prize Food Processing NRW 2002" for isotope analysis , accessed on November 15, 2016
  17. Agenda 21 Common Ideas with a Future, Best Practice Examples , accessed on November 15, 2016
  18. Innovation Prize Region Aachen 2007 , accessed on November 15, 2016
  19. Gaby Mahr-Urfels, Innovation Prize Region Aachen 2008 - Festive award ceremony for innovative companies , accessed on November 15, 2016