IsoLife – Stable Isotope Labelled Plant Products for the Life Sciences


From plant to fungal biomass: Agaricus bisporus can utilise lignin.

April 19, 2024.

IsoLife congratulates Katharina Duran with her PhD thesis.

December 8, 2023.


A joint study by Wageningen University, Saarland University, Utrecht University, and IsoLife, published in Science Advances, showed conclusively for the first time that Agaricus bisporus absorbed and assimilated U-13C lignin when used as a sole C source. Read more »

Duran front thesis

Combining the use of U-13C lignin as an internal standard in 13C-IS py-GC-MS and as a tracer during culture, it was proven that Agaricus bisporus incorporates carbon from plant biomass into various components of its fungal biomass. . Read more »

IsoLife proudly presents unique 13C-labelled apples.

September 1, 2023.

Inulin alleviates non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH).

June 29, 2023.

P-13C Apple

IsoLife recently succeeded in producing mature, homogeneously 13C-labelled apples (~6 at% 13C).

NASH and U-13C Inulin

Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is the severe form of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, which dietary fiber has been shown to alleviate this metabolic disorder in mice via the gut microbiota. Parabacterioides distasonis used 13C inulin to produce pentadecanoic acid which was found to be protective against NASH in mice. Read more »

Milestone: 250th scientific article with IsoLife products.

May 23, 2023.

Congratulations to Henri!

November 16, 2022.


Our great support Henri has been with IsoLife for 12.5 years. We celebrated this happy event with an artistic visit to the Depot of Boijmans van Beuningen in Rotterdam, followed by a cruise through the harbour and a climb up the Euromast.

We are very greatful to Henri for his continuous commitment to IsoLife and hope that he will be Head of Sales for a long time to come!

Two exciting solid-state NMR papers published on cell wall structure.

January 27, 2022.

First use of U-13C Lignin for monitoring lignin degradation in compost.

December 16, 2021.

Cell wall softwood

Using uniformly 13C-labelled plants and ss-NMR, the group of professor Tuo Wang published two papers on cell wall structure. Kirui et al. showed that the extent of glycan-aromatic association increased across grasses, hardwoods, and softwoods, having implications for biomass conversion. Poulhazan et al. revealed that in microalga starch was the most abundant polysaccharide in a well-organized and highly rigid cell structure.

Compost formation

The first paper of a project, co-sponsored by IsoLife, supported by NWO-ENW-GSGT and entitled ‘The fate of nutrients captured in the dark film of mushroom substrate’. Katharina Duran investigates the formation, conversion, function, and bioavailability of compost dark films and their nutritive properties for Agaricus bisporus.

First results published on the nanostructure of U-13Pinus radiata cell walls.

October 20, 2021.

New in IsoLife‘s portfolio: Sophora flavescens.

October 6, 2021.

Cresswell Xylan Cellulose complex

Producing U-13C Pinus radiata has been a challenge, but the results of the current paper by Cresswell et al. using MAS-NMR now clearly explain the influence of cell wall dehydration on timber mechanical properties. Read more>>

Sophora flavescens hl

We proudly present our new product U-13C Sophora flavescens, the traditional Chinese medicinal herb (Kushen). The root of Sophora is used in e.g. China, Japan, and India to treat diseases like asthma, jaundice, dysentery, and many others. Read more>>

IsoLife congratulates Gijs van Erven with his cum laude graduation.

May 8, 2020.

IsoLife congratulates Mirjam Kabel (Food Chemistry WU) with our new, joint project.

October 17, 2019.

Thesis Gijs

A new quantitative 13C-IS py-GC-MS method has been developed using U-13C Lignin as an internal standard to measure highly accurate lignin contents and acquire valuable structural information from extremely small samples (10-100 μg).

Logo NWO

This joint project was granted by NWO-TTW-OTP and entitled ‘Lignin as intrinsic tracer for gastrointestinal transit behavior and feed digestion (LiFeTracer)’. The aim of LiFeTracer is to set-up methodology for using U-13C Lignin or a recalcitrant lignin-fraction, intrinsically present in the feed, as tracer in digestion studies.

Molecular structure of U-13C fungal cell walls unravelled.

July 16, 2018.

Now also available: 0.1 atom % 13C Maize (depleted)!

May 15, 2018.

Nature Communications

IsoLife‘s U-13Aspergillus fumigatus has been used to unravel the structure of fungal cell walls with solid-state NMR. The results of Kang et al. (2018) published in Nature can be used to promote the development of cell wall-targeted antifungals to combat invasive fungal infections in humans.


IsoLife recently succeeded in producing maize plants depleted in 13C as low as 0.1 atom % (D-13C Maize).

Exemption for U-13C Cannabis and U-13C Cannabinoids.

November 17, 2017.

IsoLife‘s pure U-13C Lignin used as extremely accurate Internal Standard.

September 19, 2017.

Cannabis licentie

IsoLife has acquired an exemption from the Dutch Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport for supplying 13C labelled cannabis plants and cannabinoids to the international research community.

Quantification of Lignin and Its Structural Features in Plant Bi

Our recently developed, pure U-13C Lignin from maize (~90%) has been used for the first time as Internal Standard for lignin quantification with Pyrolysis-GC-SIM-MS (Van Erven et al., 2017). The method was shown to be extremely accurate and proved to be a promising alternative for high-throughput quantification of lignin in biomass samples.

IsoLife sponsors the conference Jesium 2016.

September 4, 2016.

IsoLife congratulates Birgit Wild with her article in Nature Scientific Reports:

May 9, 2016.


The conference Joint European Stable Isotopes User group Meeting (JESIUM) was held in Ghent, Belgium on September 4 – September 9, 2016. IsoLife was sponsor of the conference and presented a poster on 13C-applications in studying changes in soil microbial processes and communities.


Scientific reports Highlights

Wild B et al., 2016. Plant-derived compounds stimulate the decomposition of organic matter in arctic permafrost soils.
Nature, Scientific Reports 6: 25607

New on IsoLife‘s products list in 2016: U-13C / U-15N Fungi.

December 15, 2015.

IsoLife 10 years!

February 8, 2015.

Aspergillus flavus

U-13C Chitin – our first 13C fungal product – is now followed up by a large range of other fungal products.


IsoLife started on February 8, 2005 as a new, independent company with world-wide unique, stable-isotopically labelled products. Ten years later, IsoLife’s products are sold all over the world and served many scientists in the Life Sciences resulting in ~65 publications, with Science and Nature as significant highlights.

Japan Office Opened to Develop the Market in Japan for IsoLife’s Stable Isotope Labelled Phytochemicals and other Plant Products.

February 6, 2015.

The project proposal “Optimizing early-life dietary carbohydrates to improve later-life metabolic health” has been granted.

June 16, 2014.

The diet in early-life can affect our physiology in later-life, with important consequences for metabolic health. Read more »

13C Inulin unravels mechanism of body weight decrease after colon fermentation.

April 30, 2014.

The first rat study with IsoLife‘s U-13C Inulin has been published.

February 26, 2014.

Daily intake of dietary fibers like inulin has been reported to decrease body weight. A publication in Nature Communications now reveals that 13C acetate, resulting from fermentation of IsoLife‘s U-13C inulin in the colon, plays a direct role in central appetite regulation and thus in the regulation of body weight. Read more »

Nature Communications doi: 10.1038/ncomms4611.


IsoLife’s products are increasingly used in animal and human trials to clear up the complex interactions between (functional) food components and the microbial gut flora. Read more »

Applied Environmental Microbiology doi:10.1128/AEM.03799-13.

IsoLife congratulates Daniel warner with his article in Journal of Dairy Science:

July 8, 2013.

ChromaDex® To Distribute IsoLife Stable Isotope Labeled Plant Products.

January 22, 2013.


For the first time, 13C-maize has been used to study the passage kinetics of maize silage components through the gastrointestinal tract of dairy cows. Journal Dairy Science 96 :1–15.  


IsoLife bv announced today it has signed a distribution agreement with ChromaDex®

Corporation (OTCQB: CDXC), an innovative natural products company. IsoLife’s 13C- and 15N-labeled plant products will be distributed in the USA, Canada, Brasil and Korea as tracers and internal standards for food & beverage, nutraceutical, pharmaceutical, cosmeceutical and environmental sciences research. Read more »

NanoSIMS reveals 13C-carbon tranfer between symbiotic organisms.

September 21, 2012.

First results on metabolite-targeted analysis using LC-FT-MS and U-13C Onion bulb.

September 9, 2012.

Now also available: U-13C and U-15N Chlorella vulgaris.

September 1, 2012.

Food for Thought: The meaningful role of stable isotopes in food research.

June 14, 2012.

Chlorella by Microscope

Stable isotope labelled Chlorella vulgaris is used in food studies. It is an attractive potential food source because of its high protein concentration: 45% (Wikipedia).


Stable isotopes are playing an increasingly crucial role in state-of-the-art applications in health-related science and technology.

This overview in Food for Thought of IsoLife‘s current research projects involving stable isotopes in food applications will explain this new development. Read more »

IsoLife proudly presents BroccoCress grown from uniformly U-13C-labelled seeds.

March 19, 2012.

IsoLife sponsors the conference ‘BASIS 2012′.

March 1, 2012.


The broccoli sprouts will be used in clinical studies on bioavailablity.

Benelux Association Stable Isotope Scientists

After meeting in Brugge in 2011, the 6th annual meeting of the Benelux Association for Stable Isotope Scientists (BASIS) 2012 will be held in

Nijmegen, The Netherlands, in “Forum de Ganzenheuvel” in the city center, on Thursday and Friday, April 12 and 13, 2012.

IsoLife sponsors the conference ‘MR in FOOD 2012’.

November 16, 2011.

IsoLife congratulates Toby Kiers with her article in Science:

September 15, 2011.


The 11th International Conference on the applications of Magnetic Resonance in Food will be held in Wageningen, The Netherlands on June 26 – June 29, 2012. IsoLife will sponsor the conference and will present posters on 13C-applications in tracing foods and in quantitative mass spectrometry.

IsoLife proudly presents the first uniformly 13C-labelled tree species!

August 15, 2011.

IsoLife sponsors the conference ‘Metabolomics 2011’.

June 27, 2011.

Metabolomics congress

The 7th International Conference of the Metabolomics Society will be held in Cairns, Australia on June 27 – June 30, 2011. IsoLife was sponsor of the  conference and presented a poster on 13C-applications in metabolomics.

IsoLife sponsors the conference ‘Ecology of Soil Microorganisms 2011’.

May 2, 2011.

IsoLife publication:’No de novo sulforaphane biosynthesis in broccoli seedlings’.

December 17, 2010.


The Conference ‘Ecology of Soil Microorganisms held in Prague on April 27 – May 1, 2011 was a well-organised and successful meeting.

Several contributions showed that 13C-applications do extend the possibilities to identify active soil microbes assimilating carbon from different substrates in complex ecosystems. For those who missed it: download our poster presentation here.

The isothiocyanate sulforaphane, present in significant amounts in broccoli (Brassica oleracea L.) seedlings in the form of its precursor glucoraphanin, has been identified as an inducer of quinine reductase, a phase-II detoxification enzyme known for its anticarcinogenic properties. Here, we unambiguously demonstrate in that sulforaphane is not biosynthesised de novo during the first week of seedling development. Both 12C (99 atom%12C) and 13C (98 atom% 13C) broccoli seeds were produced and subsequently germinated and grown either in a 13CO2 or a 12CO2environment. Afterwards, the labelling degree of sulforaphane in seeds and in seedlings was analysed by HPLC–MS. We conclude that sulforaphane exclusively originates from seed reserves and that de novo biosynthesis is not detectable in broccoli seedlings. Our findings have been published in Food Chemistry (for further details see Applications). Ask a reprint.

Steering and control of plant quality.

January 11, 2010.

Trace gas detector central in large EU project Ultragas.

December 9, 2009.

A challanging new project was granted on the steering and control of plant quality within the Biotech Systems Platform.

go gebundeld lettercontouren

The trace gas detector developed at Radboud University Nijmegen plays a central role in a 4,2 Meuro EU-project. The innovative measuring technique will be applicated in fruit storage, greenhouse crops, and in medical diagnostics.

IsoLife is one of the partners to further develop this high-tech detector for use in her labeling facility. This project was made possible by a financial contribution of the European Union. Here is invested in your future:

European flag

Intecol 2009.

August 25, 2009.

Stable Isotopes Support Functional Ingredients Research.

June 1, 2009.

The Intecol congress held in Brisbane on August 15 – 21, 2009 has been a very successful event. Interesting discussions with participants, nice temperatures, and good foods & drinks, have yielded new valuable ideas on how to use stable isotope labelled higher plants and plant components in ecological sciences.

Food Marketing & Technology

Interview in Food Marketing & Technology about the use of stable isotopes in food research.
Read more »

A novel method for the quantification of quinic acid in food products.

May 27, 2009.

Prize winning publication with IsoLife‘s 13C-potato starch.

May 22, 2009.

Publication of “A novel method for the quantification of quinic acid in food using stable isotope dilution analysis”, based on the use of IsoLife‘s U-13C Quinic acid as an internal standard.

The scientific paper “Linking phylogenetic identities of bacteria to starch fermentation in an in vitromodel of the large intestine by RNA-based stable isotope probing” won the prestigious TIFN publication prize. Read more »

IsoLife receives the TechnoPartner Certificate.

May 14, 2009.

Healthy food: Potato products with low caloric values and high fiber contents.

March 1, 2009.

TechnoPartner Certificate

The Dutch minister of Economic Affairs Maria van der Hoeven and ABN AMRO have awarded IsoLife’s highly innovative R&D plans with the TechnoPartner Certificate. The certificate acknowledges the courage, knowledge, and perseverance to further develop her innovative initiatives to commercial successes.

Potatoes are a good, natural source of carbohydrates, energy, dietary fiber, minerals, and vitamins.13C-labeled potatoes are extremely helpful to investigate the caloric properties and the behavior of functional components of specific potato varieties in a normal daily diet. For this purpose, IsoLife has produced several stable isotope labelled potato varieties during recent years. One of the projects – co-financed by ‘Samenwerkingsverband Noord-Nederland’ and performed by IsoLife in co-operation with the partners HZPC, Aviko and the University Medical Center Groningen – investigated whether the caloric value of potatoes and potato products could be (further) decreased by specific procedures in potato breeding or product processing.

HZPC Holland BV is a breeding company and a trade company for the development and sales of innovative potato varieties in the potato supply chain with focus on potatoes for consumption and potatoes for French fries, chips and the food chain.
AVIKO BV is the largest Dutch producer of potato products with focus on health aspects.
The ‘Center for Medical Biomics’ (UMCG), the department of professor Roel Vonk, has contributed in areas like digestion, fermentation, and metabolism of potato components in relation to human health. The UMCG has co-ordinated the large EU-research project EUROSTARCH

The results, based on detailed experiments with 13C-labelled potato products, show that the caloric value of potato products can indeed be (further) decreased through changes in their composition.

EU logo

This project was co-financed by the European Community, the European Regional

SNN logo

Development Fund, and the “Samenwerkingsverband Noord-Nederland (SNN)”, a joint agreement between the provinces of Drenthe, Groningen and Fryslân. EZ/KOMPAS under number AA099.

Development of U-13C Cannabinoids and U-13C Hemp oil fatty acids.

September 1, 2008.

Shaking the market with brilliant ideas.

June 7, 2008.

IsoLife BV, Prisna BV and Bedrocan BV have joined forces to develop a new high-quality hemp oil and an innovative set of reference standards for mass spectrometry, including 13C-labelled cannabinoids and hemp oil fatty acids.

FEM Business and Finance

IsoLife BV has been identified by FEM Business Tech 25 as one of 25 young, innovative companies who ‘shake the market with brilliant ideas’.

Methane emission from plants: Yes they do! No they don’t!

April 27, 2007.

The first uniformly 13C-labelled tomatoes (cv ‘MicroTom’) were harvested.

July 20, 2006.

In 2006, Nature published a sensational article by Keppler et al, who claimed that plants would be able to emit methane under aerobic conditions. A Dutch consortium consisting of IsoLife, Plant Research International, Plant Dynamics, Nijmegen Radboud University, Utrecht University tried to reproduce their results using a novel technique with uniformly 13C-labelled plants. We found methane emissions that were between 0.1% and 0.3% of the rates reported by Nature. Apparently, the textbooks do not have to be rewritten. Our findings have been published in New Phytologist (for further details see Application; for more news read the News commentaries). Ask a reprint.


We are proud to have served our customers with mature, uniformly (~98% 13C) labelled tomatoes.

First results published on U-13C Starch using RNA-SIP.

December 1-3, 2005.

Wageningers produceren planten met louter zware isotopen.

April 2, 2005.


Kovatcheva-Datchary et al. published their results of research performed at the Wageningen Centre of Food Science (WCFS; with U-13C Starch using the RNA-SIP-technique on

the congress “Biomedicine in the Post-Genomic Era” in Mexico. They concluded that “RNA-SIP has the potential to elucidate microbial structurefunction relationships in the human colon, e.g. regarding the fermentation of dietary relevant carbohydrates”. For more details download the WCFS poster.

Zware planten
Twee Wageningse
biologen kweken planten op in een hermetisch gesloten ruimte. Zo kunnen ze planten laten groeien op voeding naar keuze die geheel voorzien is van zware isotopen. ‘Dat opent een heel nieuwe wereld van onderzoek.’
bron: NRC Handelsblad Wetenschap & Onderwijs – Sander Voormolen

IsoLife wins the Dutch National BioPartner Masterclass Award 2004.

February 3, 2005.

I am text block.

News Highlight IsoLife

IsoLife’s businessplan received the BioPartner Masterclass Award 2004. The plan was judged by a jury consisting of representatives from industry, the financial world, and BioPartner.

The founders of IsoLife, Ton Gorissen and Ries de Visser, received the price from Chris Buijink, Director-General Enterprise and Innovation at the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs.