Antimicrobial properties of cow’s and goat’s milk are being studied in Latvia and Norway
Nowadays, an increasing part of society is monitoring the quality of daily food products and their composition, including dairy products. Not once have spears been broken over the fact that goat’s milk is called a healthier, safer and more valuable food product than cow’s milk. In order to carry out an in-depth analysis and learn new milk research methods, researchers from the Latvian University of Life Sciences and Technologies (LBTU) in cooperation with the Norwegian University of Life Sciences are implementing a project that aims to evaluate the antimicrobial properties of cow and goat milk components.
As Kristīne Majore, a researcher at the Faculty of Food Technology, explains: "The Norwegian University of Life Sciences is implementing several projects aimed at conducting research into the properties of milk components, including the study of milk proteins. Our partner has specific and modern laboratory equipment that is useful for the implementation of this project, to obtain scientifically sound results."
Our university scientists, on the other hand, are working on research on the composition of goat milk and its properties, including polymorphism of casein genes, as well as research on milk coagulation and its regularities (composition, breed, feed, etc.). Also, LBTU implements projects that use a model environment of the digestive system, thanks to which the obtained results are valuable information that allows a better understanding of the bioavailability of nutrients.
In order to implement the initiated research, scientists will learn the latest methods for determining antimicrobial compounds, evaluate the influence of seasonal, climatic and other factors on the antimicrobial properties of cow and goat milk, as well as monitor indicators in both countries on an annual basis. The project will obtain results on the influence of digestive enzymes on the antimicrobial compounds of milk and their fermentation.
Mobility of doctoral students, young scientists and teaching staff is planned in the project, which provides an opportunity to acquire new knowledge, understanding of the application of analytical methods in the determination of antimicrobial compounds and their properties. The first mobility was carried out in September of this year, when docent K. Majore went to the Norwegian University of Life Sciences to learn new research skills and obtain the first research results. The researcher tells about the experience: “The antimicrobial properties of milk were analyzed using microbiological methods. During the study, the reproduction of E. coli and Staphylococcus aureus in culture media in the presence of milk bactericidal substances and antibodies was tested.” She adds that the first results have already been obtained, which indicate a greater antimicrobial activity of the components of Latvian goat’s milk.
Along with that, K. Majore has learned the analysis of milk microbiome using 16S rDNA sequencing. "The results are currently being compiled to explain the diversity of microorganisms in the samples. This will provide important information for the course of further research," said the researcher.
Cooperation with Norwegian scientists will not only develop strategic thinking to implement innovations, but also promote future cooperation between students and researchers, stimulating new ideas in the field of study and research.
In the European Economic Area and Norway Grants (EEA/NO) programme “Research and Education” project “Investigation of antimicrobial properties of Latvian and Norway cow and goat milk”, a study of the antimicrobial properties of milk is carried out. The total cost of the project is 19,725 euros. Projects implementation started on September 1, 2021 and will end on September 1, 2023.