The research institute was founded by the Ministry of State of the Royal House, the Foreign Ministry and the Ministry of Interior as a public foundation. The foundation was initiated by Privy Councillor Prof. Dr. phil. Dr. med. Theodor Paul, Professor of Pharmacy and Applied Chemistry of the University of Munich, on April 3rd, 1918. Theodor Paul was then appointed to the first director of the institute. After changes in the foundations financial situation caused by the inflation in 1923 the institute collaborated with the Laboratory of Applied Chemistry of the University of Munich.
After the founder had died on September 30th, 1928, the successor in charge Prof. Dr. phil. Benno Bleyer, head of the institute of Pharmacy and Food Chemistry of the University of Munich started to steadily expand the institute.
Destruction of the premises and the properties of the institute by air-raids.
The director Prof. Dr. phil. Benno Bleyer died on November 24th, 1945.
Resumption of the research work in temporary quarters in Dachau, Munich-Nymphenburg as well as in Munich-Schwabing.
On July 16th, 1947, Prof. Dr. phil. S. Walter Souci, provisional head of the DFA since 1946, was appointed to the director of the institute.
The institute was financed by the Bavarian Ministry of Education and Nutrition, Agriculture and Forestry.
The institute moved to new laboratories in the "Wenschow-Building", Munich-Schwabing.
On December 1st, 1968, Prof. Dr. S. Walter Souci retired from his profession as director of the research institute.
Prof. Dr. Hans-Dieter Belitz, chairman of the institute of Food Chemistry of the Technische Universität München was appointed to the director of the institute.
Since January 1977 the institute has been financed jointly by the Federal and the Bavarian governments according to article 91b Fundamental Law. The institute moved to new laboratories at the faculty of Chemistry, Biology and Geology at the Technische Universität München at Garching.
The director of the institute Prof. Dr. Hans-Dieter Belitz died of a serious illness on March, 31st, 1993.
Since August 1st, 1995, Prof. Dr. Peter Schieberle, Chair of Food Chemistry of the Technische Universität München, has been the director of the institute.
In April 2010 the institute moved to newly refurbished laboratories in Freising.