The Greenlandic Diet Revolution: Then & Now
The Greenlandic Diet Revolution was started a year ago as a Greenland Perspective project by Postdoc Aviaja Lyberth Hauptmann. Here is the current status.
Aviaja Lyberth Hauptmann, Ph.D. in Arctic microbiology and bioinformatics, started her Postdoc project ’The Greenlandic Diet Revolution’ last year in collaboration with Greenland Perspective.
The project aims at mapping the food microbiome of traditional Greenlandic foods that are not cooked and which are prepared in a natural setting. 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.
The first year of the project has now passed and Aviaja has collected microbiological samples from e.g. dried ammassat (capelin - a small fish, a bit like the sardine) from Ilulissat, cod from Nuuk and musk ox and reindeer from Angujaartorfik. The DNA has been extracted from them and the next step will be to analyse data. Two publications are planned based on this work.
Future steps also include isolation of bacteria from samples and obtaining samples from little auks. Furthermore, Aviaja plans to study the gastrointestinal microbiota of Greenlandic with a diet base. This study will be conducted in collaboration with PopGen, a research unit Bioinformatics Centre at the University of Copenhagen.
Aviaja has also established a partnership with Royal Greenland, the largest company in Greenland.
The picture below is from last summer and shows Aviaja's work in the field, collecting samples by boat.
Aviaja Lyberth Hauptmann
Ilisimatusarfik, University of Greenland
Food Microbes as a Resource
Food microbes from traditionally prepared Greenlandic food may be of use for natural preservation of industrial meat and fish products. The projects aims at mapping the food microbiome of traditional Greenlandic foods that are not cooked and which are prepared in a natural setting. This project will 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.