18 May 2017

The Greenlandic Diet Revolution

Food Microbes

The Greenlandic Diet Revolution joins Greenland Perspective. In this project, Postdoc Aviaja Lyberth Hauptmann will be investigating the natural microbes present in the traditional Greenlandic diet.

A new 2-year Postdoc research project starting in May 2017 seeks to put renewed focus on traditional Greenlandic foods through their microbiology. Traditional Greenlandic foods are often prepared in natural settings and preserved through drying, salting or smoking and occasionally through fermentation. Aviaja Lyberth Hauptmann is heading the project. She will be based at Ilisimatusarfik, the University of Greenland during the project period. 
These foods can be considered rich sources of a natural diversity of microbes, as the foods are not cooked and as they are prepared in non-industrial settings. Natural food microbes may be of use for natural preservation of industrial meat and fish products. The projects aims at mappin
Greenlandic redfish

Greenlandic redfish. Photo: Aviaja Lyberth Hauptmann

g the food microbiome of traditional Greenlandic foods that are not cooked and which are prepared in a natural setting.

Potential for industrial use

Through mapping of the food microbiome the project will assess the impact of preparation method, food species and geography on the food microbiome and also the potential biotechnological use of the microbes for food protection candidates in the meat and fish industry.

Understanding Inuit evolution through their diet

The microbiology of traditional Greenlandic foods may also help us understand how the Inuit evolved to adapt to the traditional diet rich in animal fat and protein and scarce in fibre, a conventionally unhealthy diet. Therefore, the project will also look at the overlap and potential interaction between the traditional Greenlandic food microbiome and the Inuit gut microbiome.

The project is expected to end in May 2019 and is also part of the project "The Arctic as a Food Producing Region".