Towards a sustainable milk production

Maybe the Nordic and Baltic milk production is a little bit more sustainable now compared to a year ago? That is what the participants in the NKJ network hope for after one year of network activities.

Nordic and Baltic researchers have been networking for a year within the frames of the NKJ network  to increase the knowledge about native cattle breeds milk and reindeer milk. This research could give new opportunities in the Nordic and Baltic dairy sectors and be of help in product development.

Synergies

The networking gives advantages in creating synergies between research groups and coordinating resources in an effective way.  It is also important in giving young researchers possibilities to train and work interdisciplinary.

One practical example of the advantages of the networking, is that milk samples have been exchanged between countries and institutions. Milk samples from native Swedish cattle breeds have been exchanged between Lund University in Sweden and AU Food in Denmark for analyses of protein composition using LC-MS to generate research data on native cattle breeds.

Read a published article here!

Important travelling

There has also been an exchange of data to enhance research. People have been traveling too between countries and have had the possibility to do experiments.

M.Sc. Tora Asledottir from NMBU in Norway visited AU Food, Denmark, in January and March 2016. The exchange of research data and mobility of Tora Asledottir involved experiments regarding digestability patterns of beta-casein A1 and A2 variants with human gastric enzymes and detection of peptide fragments, caseinomorhins 7 in both variants. The visit involved analyses of flourescamine, peptidomics, SDS-PAGE and protein content. The visit also gave a good chance to discuss the data and paper writing.

Another exchange of brains and data was the visit of the PhD-student Kajsa Nilsson from Lund University in Sweden at NMBU, Norway, in December 2017. The visit involved experiments regarding rennetinduced coagulation phases of coagulating and non-coagulating milk from the Swedish Red breed. It also involved protein profiling of para-κ-casein and genetic variants of caseins and whey proteins using capillary electrophoresis as well as zeta-potential measurements. Analyses, discussion and paper writing was done too.

Events

Workshops, meetings and a PhD course have been arranged by the network. A major outcome has been to promote advanced research and research training for PhD students and young researchers in the region through various organized activities. The network has improved transfer of scientifically based information on dairy technology and food for health science to the industry and established new research collaborations in the Nordic-Baltic region, which is of great importance for future research within the research field of dairy and health.

To facilitate future research exchanges and mobility after the end of the network, a portfolio of research techniques and methodologies have been established between all the network partners.

Climate change – an important issue for reindeer husbandry

Climate change is a challenge in many ways, and that applies to reindeer husbandry too. NKJ co-organized a seminar about future needs for research in the sector.

 

Reindeer husbandry Nordregio has written a report, Reindeer Husbandry in Sapmi, commissioned by NKJ. The report is a summary of the relevant research done the last ten years. It was presented at, and formed a basis for, a seminar about reindeer husbandry research in Tromsø, Norway, before Christmas.

Overview

The purpose of the seminar was to get a good overview of the problems and possibilities the reindeer husbandry is facing in the future.

– We want to develop the reindeer husbandry moving towards future, says Sunna Marie Pentha, adviser at the Norwegian Agricultural and food department.

Environmental issues

Anna Berlina, Nordregio, initiated the seminar with presenting the report to the participants. Ethel Seljevold, Fylkesmannen, Troms, talked about the opportunities there are in reindeer husbandry, and was followed by Carlos das Neves and Torill Mørch, Norwegian Veterinary Institute, who talked about the challenges the sector approaches when it comes to animal health.

But the most important and urgent issue to discuss might be the climate change, which changes the terms of reindeer husbandry. The warming up of the atmosphere makes the snow come later. That makes it harder for animal owners to gather their herd and transportations become difficult because the snowmobile can’t be used. It also interacts with the movements of the herd because lakes and other waters doesn’t freeze when it usually does. The possible effects of climate change on pastures was summarized by Kari Anne Bråthen, University of Tromsø.

Technical development

Rune Storvold, NORUT, och Erlend Vinje, NIBIO, gave some insight in the new opportunities technology brings to reindeer husbandry.

– The last four or five years, more and more animal owners use drones to handle their reindeers, says Sunna Marie Pentha.

The second day of the seminar was all about the future research needs in the sector. Marit Meløy from the Norwegian Saami Parliament initiated the discussions, and then the participants had discussions in smaller groups to pinpoint the needs and give their suggestions.

– The workshops gave some really useful concrete suggestions for further research, says Sunna Marie Pentha.

– NKJ can be important for the future reindeer husbandry because of the contacts you have, and the funding you can give, she says.

Download the report here!