Sustainable production of traditional cheeses from local sheep milk, in the Balkans:1. Improved reproductive management of indigenous-sheep-breeds populations, 2. Ensuring traditional cheeses hygiene and quality 

The objective of this project was to support the local producers in making safe and certified traditional cheeses from indigenous-sheep-breeds milk.The following approaches were applied: 1. Ensuring the supply of milk from indigenous sheep (a. Rapid improvement of productivity by applying superovulation, semen and embryo cryopreservation, b. Application of ram-effect/light manipulation/flushing, for the control of estrus and increase of fecundity, based on the breeds’ reproductive profile) and 2. Ensuring the hygiene and underscoring the qualitative superiority of traditional cheeses (a. Evaluation of raw milk quality, including physical and chemical analysis and microbiological examination at different stages of lactation and in different regions, b. Evaluation of cheese quality, including biochemical analysis (chemical characteristics during ripening), microbiological examination (effect of milk pasteurization on microbial evolution, composition of NSLAB during ripening, evolution of pathogens), and organoleptic evaluation. Four local sheep breeds/strains (Lesvos breed and Pramenka breed Lika, Ovcepolian and Sjenicka strains) and four traditional cheeses (Ladotyri Mytilinis, Sir iz mišine, Ovčo belo sirenje, Sjenicki cheese) were studied.

Duration: 2010-2012
Funded by: SEE-ERA.NET PLUS consortium (in the context of FP7)
Project Coordinator: F. Samartzi
  • NAGREF, Veterinary Research Institute (Greece) Coordinator
  • University of Thessaly, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine (Greece), Team Leader Dr. Ekaterini Theodosiadou
  • University of Zagreb, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine (Croatia), Team leader Assistan Professor Juraj Grizelj
  • University of Belgrade, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine (Serbia), Team leader Prof. Miodrag Lazarevic
  • University Ss. Cyril and Methodius, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine (FYROM), Team leader Prof. Toni Dovenski


Publication of project results:

  • INDI_SHEEP_TRADI_CHEESE: Sustainable production of traditional cheeses from local sheep milk, in the Balkans: 1. Improved reproductive management of indigenous-sheep-breeds populations, 2. Ensuring of traditional cheeses hygiene and quality. Dovenski, T, Grizelj J, Theodosiadou E, Lazarević M, Samartzi F. 2011. Proceedings Days of Veterinary Medicine / Mitrov, Dine (ed). - Skoplje : Faculty of veterinary medicine – Skopje, p 67-68
  • Sustainable production of traditional cheeses from local sheep milk in the Balkans. SEE-ERA.NET PLUS PROJECT. Lazarevic M, Mijačević  Z, Grizelj J, Kozačinski L, Dovenski T, Sekulovski P, Jankuloski D, Theodosiadou E, Rekkas AC, Zdragas Α, Samartzi F, Milovanović A. 2011. Proceedings of Symposium "Reproduction on domestic animals", organized by the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Belgrade, in Divcibare, Serbia, October 13‐16, Beograd: Naučna KMD, p. 175‐179 (ISBN:978‐86‐6021‐044‐1)
  • Αειφόρος παραγωγή παραδοσιακών τυριών από γάλα προβάτων αυτόχθονων φυλών, στα Βαλκάνια. Γ Σαμούρης, LD Kozačinski, ŽC Fleck, I Filipović, P Sekulovski, D Jankuloski, Z Mijacvic, M Lazarevic, I Mαστρανεστάσης, A Ζδράγκας, Φ Σαμαρτζή. 2011. 4ο Πανελλήνιο Συνέδριο Τροφίμων, Θεσσαλονίκη, Πρακτικά σελ. 237-250
  • Lactic bacteria and their activity in autochthonous Sjenica cheese Mijacevic Zora, Bulajic Snezana. 2011. Prehrambena industrija  Mleko i mlečni proizvodi Vol 22 (1-2), p. 52-54 (in Serbian).
  • INDI_SHEEP TRADI_CHEESE, europski istraživački projekt: održiva proizvodnja tradicionalnih sireva od mlijeka lokalnih pasmina ovaca u regiji: 1. poboljšanje reproduktivnog managementa populacija autohtonih pasmina ovaca, 2. Osiguranje higijene i kakvoće sira. Grizelj J, Vince S, Ževrnja B, Dovenski T, Kozačinski L, Lazarević M, Theodosiadou Ε i Samartzi F. 2012. Veterinarska Stanica Vol 43 (2), p. 183-187 (Full text in Croatian)
  • ERA83 - Book of Abstracts, Thessaloniki 2013. Includes 12 abstracts, summarizing the research results of all five teams participating in the project.
  • Sheep and Goat Farming in Greece: Implications and Challenges for the Sustainable Development of Less Favoured Areas. Sossidou E, Ligda Ch, Mastranestasis I, Tsiokos D, Samartzi F. 2013. Animal Science and Biotechnologies, Vol 46 (2), p. 446-449.
  • Laparoscopy – Promising tool for improvement of reproductive efficiency of small ruminants 2013 Dovenski T, Trojacanec P, Petkov V, Popovska-Parcinic F, Kocoski L, Grizelj J. 2013. Macedonian Veterinary Review, 35 (1), p. 5-11.
  • Cryopreservation of sheep embryos by slow freezing or vitrification with or without caffeic acid. F Samartzi, E Theodosiadou, E Vainas, I Mastranestasis, Ch Bakaras, C Rekkas. 2015. 31st Scientific Meeting of AETE, Ghent, Belgium (Poster A32E), Animal Reproduction, Vol. 12 (3), p. 857.
  • Superovulatory response of Lesvos ewes to p-FSH. F Samartzi, J Grizelj, S Vince, I Mastranestasis, A Saratsi, E Vainas, I Valasi, E Theodosiadou. 2015. 19th Annual Conference of ESDAR,, Albena, Bulgaria (Poster 128), Reproduction in domestic animals, Vol 50 (Suppl. 3), p. 75.
  • Ovarian steroid concentrations in Lesvos sheep superovulated with FSH. E Theodosiadou, F Samartzi, I Valasi, T Dovenski, A. Saratsi, Ch Bakaras, C Rekkas. 2015. 19th Annual Conference of ESDAR,, Albena, Bulgaria (Poster 148), Reproduction in domestic animals, Vol 50 (Suppl. 3), p. 80.