Department of Food · Nutrition · Facilities

Corrensstraße 25, 48149 Münster, Room: D 405

Tel: +49 251 83-65415
Mobile: Skype: carola.strassner
Fax: +49 251 83-65424


Field of teaching and research: Nachhaltige Ernährungssysteme, Ernährungsökologie

Prof. Dr. oec.troph. Carola Strassner

Research activities


Community Supported Agriculture

Research topics:

  • CSA - Community Supported Agriculture
  • AFN - Alternative Food Networks
  • consumer behaviour wrt seasonality, regionalism, local foods, socio-economic models in food systems
  • co-operation partner: Gärtnerhof Entrup 119, Altenberge (Demeter farm)

Contact: Prof. Dr. Strassner

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a model of deliberate cooperation between (organic) food producers and consumers. A certain number of consumers are generally required for a fiscal year to cover the operating costs of the farm with their contributions. Conversely the consumers receive their part of the harvest at no additional cost. Thus the farmers can organize the agricultural operation without usual price and market pressures and consumers benefit from high-quality products. Such Communities offer a new economic form, also described as active and passive farmers, through the collaborative design with benefits for soil, plants, animals and humans. In recent years the concept has attracted interest in the fields of regional development, nutritional science and organic agriculture. CSA is suitable both for environmental and other forms of sustainable agriculture. The customer benefit lies foremost in trust issues (knowing your producer) and in proximity of production (local foods). The potential for German agriculture is rather as an additional solution for maintaining small-scale structures of production and distribution.

Some of our students' work in this area include:

  • Solutions for the development of a nationwide CSA-network in Germany (B.Sc. thesis, Anne Abeler, 2010)
  • Networking of organic food producers and consumers using the example of an internet-based platform (M.Sc. thesis, Lene Stöwer, 2010)
  • Selected aspects of the social Community Supported Agriculture using the example of the CSA movement in the U.S.A. (diploma thesis, Kathrin Spitzer, 2009)
  • Analysis and optimization of agricultural direct marketing using the example of Gärtnerhof Entrup 119 (diploma thesis, Sebastian Fuchs, 2009)


Substainable consumption patters

Research topics:

  • life events that affect consumer decisions
  • analysis of consumption milieus
  • sufficiency

Contact: Ph. D. (cand.) Melanie Lukas & Prof. Dr. Strassner

In modern times, characterized by individualization, globalization and mechanization, is it no longer enough to make decisions based only on criteria such as price or quality. In keeping with the principle of sustainable development every consumer can become an active co-creator of environmentally and socially fair consumption. The challenge here is that the values of today's society are characterized by specific consumption, possession and use of products and services and many people define themselves via their material consumption. The various criteria underlying decision making by consumers have not yet been analysed sufficiently. It is here where our research starts. It is an aim to complement the vision of the "active consumer" and to show whether and where a sustainability focus can be integrated into everyday life, especially for the consumer who is not "eco-affine". The investigation extends not only to organic food, but integrates all consumer areas (e.g. mobility, housing, consumption, choice behaviour).


Yeast, yeast extracts and flavour enhancers

Research topics:

  • flavour enhances and yeast extracts in conventional food
  • yeast extract and organic food
  • umami, biochemistry of taste
  • yeast, yeast extract, glutamate and other flavour enhancers

Contact: Prof. Dr. Strassner & Prof. Dr. Bordewick-Dell

Back in 2009 and 2010 we have carried out a research project with our partner BNN, an organic sector NGO, on the use of yeast extract in organic foods. The project dealt with the questions: Is the use of yeast extract compatible with the standards of quality and naturalness of organic food? Is yeast extract the ingredient of choice or are there reasonable alternatives for the organic food manufacturer?
The project was funded by the Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection under the Federal Program Organic Farming.

Some of our students' work in this area include:

  • Physiological effects of flavour enhancers in the human body using the example of glutamate as well as glutamate and NaCl analyses in yeast extracts (B.Sc. thesis, Ines Maria Weiland, 2011)
  • The biochemistry of umami taste (diploma thesis, Marina Hohmann, 2011)
  • The biochemistry of taste (diploma thesis, Christian Boost, 2011)
  • Production of yeast extract - a comparison of organic and conventional production (B. Sc. project, Sarah Tamke and Lena Nutsch, 2010)
  • Studies of glutamate in popular and scientific literature (B. Sc. project, Christiane Lehnert, 2010)
  • Comparison of the glutamate content in organic and conventional food products (diploma thesis, Julia Geringer, 2010)
  • Use of yeast extracts in organic foods - A survey of organic producers and organic yeast extract manufacturer (M. Sc. project, Kirsten Hollmann, Sandra Ibing, Almuth Ross, 2010)


Sustainability skills in vocational education

Research topics:

  • Relevance of the food sector for sustainable development
  • Systematic consideration of sustainability in specialised vocational training

Contact: Nancy Mattausch (IBL), Prof. Dr. Irmhild Kettschau (IBL), Prof. Dr. Carola Strassner

In November 2010 we launched the project "Vocational training for sustainable development in the hospitality industry and Home Economics" at the Institute of Teacher Training for Vocational Education (IBL). The aim is the development and establishment of a modular curriculum frame work with anchored skills for sustainable development in the occupational field of hospitality and home economics. All qualification levels of the vocational training system, from trained assistants to masters of their respective trades, are to be considered and included. Additionally, we consider how the professions of the food industry can thereby be made more attractive and more future-proof. The Federal Institute for Vocational Training (BIBB) promotes the 2-year project within its funding priority "Vocational Education for Sustainable Development", funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).


School catering in Münster

Research topics:

  • Organization and management of school catering in Münster, challenges to school catering, contractual arrangement and other aspects
  • Snacking (e.g. tuckshops), breakfast

Contact: Dipl. Oecotroph. Kuttenkeuler & Prof. Dr. Strassner

Thanks to the increasing establishment of all-day schools, the issue of school meals in Germany is becoming increasingly important. Since Germany, unlike many other European countries, does not have established traditions and institutions of school catering, it is breaking new ground here. Schools often lack organizational and technical know-how to understand the implementation of integrated food concepts and meal systems. Such concepts cannot be reduced to a sustenance-only character, but grasp school catering as a learning centre for the promotion of health, participation and sustainability. We believe that school catering requires high competence and that the Faculty of Home Economics and Nutritional Sciences / Facility Management is an ideal partner to support the professionalization of school catering in Germany.
The project is funded in the form of a quarter research position through the Investment Fund of the University of Applied Sciences, Münster.

Some of our students' work in this area include:

  • Analysis and Evaluation of the menu plans of a Münster Kindergarten (B. Sc. project, Sylvia Winckler, 2012)
  • Use of non-school catering facilities by students using the example of two school sites in Münster (Bachelor project, Leonie Fink & Sabrina Schlatt, 2012)



School meal systems in Europe

Research topics:

  • Organic food and consideration of sustainability in the school setting
  • Public Procurement as an tool for sustainable development

Contact: Prof. Dr. Strassner & Dipl. Oecotroph. Kuttenkeuler

In the years 2007-2010 we joined up with colleagues from the Technical Universities Berlin and Denmark, Universities in Helsinki and Milan, the Norwegian National Institute for Consumer Research, Bioforsk Norway, the Danish National Food Institute and the Italian Organic Marketing Company Prober in the course of the European research program CORE Organic to work on the above topics. The research project with the acronym iPOPY examined in which way more organic products can be integrated via public procurement in catering for children and adolescents. (iPOPY: Innovative Public Organic food Procurement for Youth)

Some of our students' work in this area include:

  • Dietary recommendations in the school catering in comparison between countries Germany - Great Britain (B.Sc. thesis, Birthe Klinke, 2011)
  • School meals in Rhineland-Palatinate - policy, organization, sustainability (diploma thesis, Nele Treckmann-Muanza, 2011)
  • The school catering networking offices in the Länder - analysis of their organization and action fields (diploma thesis Nadine Senger, 2010)
  • School catering in Hesse, considering the integration of organic food (diploma thesis, Nicole Heidebur,2010)
  • Analysis of the concept and programme of Sustainable Food Education at Universities of Applied Sciences in Germany (diploma thesis, Sibel Ceren, 2010)
  • School Catering in Lower Saxony. Policy, organization, sustainability (B.Sc. thesis, Angelika Rolf, 2009)
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