Lactiker -Quality and Safety of Foods from Animal Origin is a multidisciplinary research group integrated by professors and researchers in the fields of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Food Science and Technology, and Nutrition and Bromatology. The group's research laboratories, including a food processing pilot plant, are located in the Faculty of Pharmacy and in the Lascaray Research Center, in the Alava Campus of the University of the Basque Country/EHU in Vitoria-Gasteiz. The sensory analysis laboratory (LASEHU) is acredited for quality control of Protected Denomination of Origin Idiazabal Cheese (ENAC, No 472 / LE 1020).
Since its early days in 1989, the group's work is centered on the characterization of the biochemical, microbiological, and technological processes of cheese manufacturing which directly influence its nutritional, hygienic and sensory quality, with the long-term goal of providing the production sector with the necessary information to produce a safe and high quality product throughout the year. Recently, a new research line has been implemented to study meat production factors that determine meat high quality characteristics for human consumption.
Research on milk and cheese comprises various lines of work on the following aspects:
- influence of feeding and animal husbandry practices on milk for cheesemaking.
- production of compounds of technological and sensory interest in cheese and other dairy.
- Innovation and improvement of cheesemaking and conservation technologies.
- safety evaluation of milk and cheese and characterization of cheese defects.
- influence of intake of dairy products on human health.
Meat research is focused on the study of factors and indicators of meat quality from different animal species including nutritional, technological, genetic, and sensory points of view. The research work is particularly focused on the effect of animal feeding and management on meat quality and technological processes related to meat aging and meat derived products.
In addition, the Lactiker research group is working in collaboration with other national and international research groups in the multidisciplinary analysis of the sustainability of food production systems of animal origin through the generation of new socio-economic and biophysical indicators.