The milk fat globule remains the least understood component
of one of the world's most valuable agricultural commodities, milk.
Darwinian selective pressure drove the emergence of a remarkable
lipid delivery system in which the particles and their surface properties are
unique to any other biological lipid export system. Recent nutrition
research is identifying multiple factors associated with the milk fat
globule membrane and its structures that provide distinct health
properties. One of the most unique feature of milk fat globules is that
they are secreted over a wide range of sizes; the milk fat globule
size rages from couple of hundreds of nanometers to over 15 micrometers.
The composition of the milk fat globule is closely associated with its size.
My research aims is to reveal the biochemical and nutritional regulation of
milk fat globule size in order to elevate the content of bioactive molecules in milk.
The ultimate goal is to develop dietary manipulations
which will result in production of milk with better quality for human health.
Our lab research interests can be divided into two research areas:
Pursuing dietary means to control milk lipid composition with the ultimate goal to increase
content of bioactive molecules.
Revealing the metabolic-biochemical pathways regulating milk fat content and composition,
with a special focus on milk fat globule size.
Sustainability- In an effort to boost production of farm animals we study how local breeds of
dairy animals utilize local vegetation which may help maintaining productivity even under stressful
conditions such as energy balance, inflammation and lack of water. These studies are focused
on local breeds since these animals are already adapted to the Mediterranean climate and
vegetation and can utilize food ingredients that other breeds cannot utilize to the same extent.