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Phone: +49 (0)221 478-5685

Cologne Site

Medicine and Health

ZB MED – Information Centre for Life Sciences
Gleueler Straße 60
50931 Cologne (Köln)

Bonn Site

Nutritional, Environmental and Agricultural Sciences

ZB MED – Information Centre for Life Sciences
Friedrich-Hirzebruch-Allee 4
53115 Bonn




An infrastructure and research centre for data and information in the life sciences.

Life sciences research needs a solid infrastructure.

ZB MED carries out the applied research required to achieve this.

BfR ontology

Development of a food and feed ontology

The goal of this project was to develop and/or extend ontologies for food and feed production processes in order to ensure a consistent and explicit formal description of the knowledge and concepts in this domain. The ontologies created in the project provide a basis for collecting specialist information on feed and food production processes. This are used by the BfR to develop a food & feed processing knowledge base that will enable users to efficiently access this information. To achieve the project objectives, one or more existing ontologies, which are already established in the food and feed community, are being extended to create a new ontology.

Work on the project was divided into four stages:

  1. Establish and evaluate automated mapping between terminologies relevant to the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) and multiple candidate ontologies in order to select a suitable base ontology, which can then be extended.
  2. Design and modulate the basic conceptual framework of the ontology extension.
  3. Extend the ontology in a semi-automated manner based on a BfR use case of predictive microbial modelling; set up corresponding workflows; test the resulting ontology.
  4. Extend the ontology in subclasses in coordination with the BfR.

ZB MED’s role in the project

  • Identify suitable ontologies to act as the basis for the BfR food & feed ontology.
  • Establish semi-automatic workflows to extend the ontologies and perform mapping between the various resources.
  • Apply and evaluate the ontologies in different BfR use cases modify as required.


  • 1 October 2022 to 31 December 2023

Funding body

  • German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment