The Department delivers training for future veterinarians (integrated study programme “Veterinary Medicine”). Since 2004, the Department has been coordinating the training of veterinary food safety specialists (full-time and part-time first- and second-cycle study programmes “Veterinary Food Safety”). Since 2013, the Department has also been coordinating the training of specialists under the study programme “Food Science” (full-time and part-time first- and second-cycle study programmes “Food Science”). The Department also teaches students of the Faculty of Animal Science (full-time and part-time first- and second-cycle programmes “Animal Science”) and students of the Faculty of Medicine (full-time first-cycle programme “Medical and Veterinary Biochemistry”).
The researchers at the Department are also actively involved in the implementation of third-cycle studies (doctoral studies) in Agricultural Sciences (Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science).
The Department of Food Safety and Quality organises and coordinates student internships:
- Veterinary Medicine (integrated study programme): Food Hygiene Practice, 2 ECTS.
- BSc in Food Safety (first-cycle study programme): internship in the food industry, 5 ECTS; apprenticeship, industrial practice, 15 ECTS.
- MSc in Veterinary Food Safety: internship, 10 ECTS.
- BSc in Food Science: practice in general food raw materials and production technology, 5 ECTS; apprenticeship, 10 ECTS.
- MSc in Food Science: apprenticeship, 10 ECTS.
- MSc in Food Science (in English): apprenticeship, 10 ECTS.
The research carried out by the Department researchers is tied to the study of food raw materials and product safety and quality. Distinct research directions focus on:
- Promotion of organic animal husbandry development and the evaluation of risk factors for organic products.
- Assessment of the impact of environmental factors on animal health and production, including the investigation of hygienic indices of water and feed, the search for new preventive measures and methods to stabilise microbiological processes in feed, feed raw material stores, and animal housing air; as well as the concept of animal welfare and the analysis of welfare indicators.
- Research on agricultural environmental pollution, animal behaviour, and animal welfare.
- Assessment of mycotoxin accumulation patterns in feed raw materials and feeds, and investigation of the prevention of mycotoxicoses.
- Assessment of the impact of animal diseases on meat quality and the risk to human health.
Studies of the molecular epidemiology and genetic diversity of zoonotic pathogens (Campylobacter, Yersinia, Listeria, etc.), properties of bacteria that determine their survival, adaptation, and spread in the food chain; studies of antimicrobial resistance of zoonotic pathogens and of the influence of certain food production technologies on quality and safety indicators.
- Development of prototypes for plant raw material, product, and nutraceutical production technologies, valorisation of by-products from the food industry into added-value raw materials and chemicals, investigation of chemical and biological safety and quality of food raw materials and products, reduction of chemical and biological contamination in plant and animal raw materials and products, and development of prototypes for functional microbial biomass technologies.
- Application of plants and their extracts in dairy product technologies and safety thereof.
- The Department of Food Safety and Quality at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine (Veterinary Academy) of the Lithuanian University of Health Sciences (LSMU) (Prof. Mindaugas Malakauskas) is partnering with the Institute of Food Safety and Food Hygiene at the Veterinary Faculty of the Free University of Berlin (FUB) (Prof. Thomas Alter) to implement the project “Bacterial Genome Studies for the Assurance of Microbiological Food Safety”. This project receives its support from the Office of Higher Education of the Baltic States and Germany through the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), funded by the Foreign Office of the Federal Republic of Germany. The primary aim of this project is to expand and strengthen the scientific research competence and innovative capabilities in the field of bacterial genome studies at LSMU. The project execution will encompass a series of lectures, research conducted in collaboration between both project partners, and a final seminar to present the knowledge acquired and the results of the research to a wider audience. Project activities: 1. The series of remote lectures is designed to acquaint the participants with (i) bacterial genome studies in microbiological food safety, (ii) bioinformatics tools and their application to bacterial genome studies, and (iii) research results of the bacterial genome studies. 2. Individual researcher practical training (remote with a practical component in the lab), gathering together three joint groups, each of them conducting studies on specific bacteria (Campylobacter, Vibrio, or Arcobacter). 3. A seminar “Bacterial Genome Studies” (remote) will offer the platform for the LSMU and FUB researchers to present the consolidated knowledge acquired during the project and the results of the joint group research. Update: you are welcome to participate in the 6th and 7th remote seminars, which are part of the joint lecture series from the Lithuanian University of Health Sciences (LSMU) and the Free University of Berlin (FUB). Please follow the link to join the online seminar here: 6th seminar “Food Safety based on Microbial Genomics and Molecular Research”, 7th seminar “Food Safety based on Microbial Genomics and Molecular Research”. This joint lecture series from the Baltic and German Universities Liaison Office is supported by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), funded by the Foreign Office of the Federal Republic of Germany.
- 2021–2023: Poject “Use of Edible Coating from Acid Whey Ultrafiltrate with Biocomponents and Biopackaging for the Assurance of Probiotic Cheese Safety and Quality (BIODANGA)”, funded by the 2014-2021 EEA Financial Mechanism as part of the Baltic Research Programme. (https://lsmuni.lt/lt/struktura/veterinarijos-akademija/veterinarijos-fakultetas/projektas-valgomo-dangalo-is-rugsciu-isrugu-ultafiltrato-su-biokomponentais-bei-biopakuotes-panaudojimas-probiotinio-surio-saugos-ir-kokybes-uztikrinimui/). Head of the project: Prof. Dr. M. Malakauskas. Project implementers: Prof. Dr. L. Šernienė, Dr. K. Kondrotienė, Dr. J. Aksomaitienė, J. Milerienė, D. Uljanovas. Project partners: NOFIMA (Norway), Latvia University of Life Sciences and Technologies, BioCC (Estonia).
- 2021–2022: International project “EISuFood – Study about Food Habits and Knowledge about Edible Insects as Sustainable Foods”. Coordinator: Polytechnic Institute of Viseu. Coordinator at LSMU: Prof. Dr. E. Bartkienė.
- 2020–2022: Project No. 09.3.1-ESFA-V-738-04-0001 “Improving the Quality of LSMU Studies and Related Processes by Enhancing Human Resource Potential”, funded by the EU Structural Funds. Project implementers: Assoc. Prof. Dr. A. Kabašinskienė, Dr. Jurgita Jovaišienė.
- 2019–2023: COST activity project No. CA18217 “European Network for Optimization of Veterinary Antimicrobial treatment (ENOVAT)”. Lithuanian representative in the steering committee: Assoc. Prof. Dr. A. Novoslavskij. Deputy representative: Prof. Dr. M. Malakauskas.
- 2019–2022: COST activity project No. CA18101 “Sourdough Biotechnology Network towards Novel, Healthier and Sustainable Food and Bioprocesses” (SOURDOmICS), Lithuanian representative in the steering committee Prof. Dr. E. Bartkienė, deputy representative Dr. V. Lėlė.
- 2018–2021: Project “Innovative Use of Biocomponents and Starter Cultures for Modelling of Novel Milk and Whey Food Matrixes for Development of Safer Cheese Production” (INOCHEESE) under the measure No. 01.2.2-LMT-K-718 “Targeted research in smart specialisation area” of activity “Research Projects Implemented by World-class Researcher Groups”. Head of the project: Prof. Dr. M. Malakauskas.
- 2018–2021: Project “Improved Health of Dairy Cows by Optimizing Animal welfare and by the Use of Biopreparations and Phytopreparations, Reducing the Use of Antibiotics and Antibiotic Resistance of Pathogenic Microorganisms” (No. 35BV-KK-17-1-03773)”, funded by the Lithuanian Rural Development Programme 2014-2020. Project implementers: Assoc. Prof. Dr. A. Novoslavskij and Dr. A. Gabinaitienė.
- 2017–2021: Project “Development of Eubiotic Multifunctional Nutraceuticals” under the measure No. 01.2.2-LMT-K-718 “Targeted research in smart specialisation area “Research Projects Implemented by World-class Researcher Groups” (SMART). Head of the project: Prof. Dr. V. Jakštas. Project implementers: Prof. Dr. E. Bartkienė and others.
The Department actively collaborates with Lithuanian and foreign research and higher education institutions, supports lecturer exchange, and develops scientific research:
- University of Copenhagen, Department of Veterinary Disease Biology (Prof. J. E. Olsen, Prof. H. Ingmar, Prof. M. A. Bojesen, and others) (Denmark): food microbiology;
- University of Helsinki, Department of Food and Environmental Hygien (Prof. M. L. Haninnen, Prof. H. Korkeala) (Finland): food microbiology;
- Free University of Berlin (FUB), Institute of Food Safety and Hygiene (Prof. Th. Alter) (Germany), food microbiology;
- University of London, the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (Dr. R. Stabler) (UK): food microbiology;
- German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment, Epidemiology, Statistics and Mathematical Modelling group (Dr. M. Greiner) (Germany): food microbiology;
- KTU Food Institute, Department of Food Product Technology (Lithuania) (food microbiology) and the Research Laboratory of Sensory Analysis (food sensory research);
- University of Vienna, Department of Analytical Chemistry (Austria): research on plant phytoestrogens;
- VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland (Finland): research on mammalian lignans;
- Martin Luther University, Institute of Nutritional Sciences (Germany), research on fibres;
- Latvia University of Agriculture (Jelgava, Latvia) and Institute of Food Safety, Animal Health and Environment “BIOR” (Riga, Latvia): microbiology and contaminants in plant food products;
- University of Warmia and Mazury (Olsztyn, Poland): food microbiology, in vivo fermentation of plant foods, sensory analysis of food;
- University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, Institute of Environmental and Animal Hygiene (Germany) and University of Hohenheim, Institute of Environmental and Animal Hygiene (Germany): production animal hygiene;
- Estonian University of Life Sciences, Institute of Animal Hygiene, Welfare and Behaviour (Estonia): agricultural animal hygiene, welfare, organic farming;
- Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Animal Environment and Health (Sweden): hygiene, welfare of agricultural animals;
- University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Department of Agrobiotechnology, IFA-Tulin (Austria): research on mycotoxins in plant raw materials, foodstuffs and feeds;
- BOKU (Vienna, Austria), Department of Food Physics, Department of Food Microbiology: food (bio)technology;
- Polytechnic Institute of Viseu (Viseu, Portugal): various fields in the area of food sciences;
- University of Naples (Naples, Italy): food chemistry;
- University of Leipzig (Leipzig, Germany): food technology;
- University of Latvia (Riga, Latvia): food chemistry.
On 28 April 2017, Dr. Vytautas Ribikauskas was approved to represent Lithuania and become a member of the European Platform on Animal Welfare. The main expert council is composed of representatives from Germany, France, Finland, Spain, Great Britain, Italy, Greece, Ireland and Lithuania.