Ivan Hartling

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Influence of bacteria on menaquinone concentrations in fermented dairy products
Ronaldo Cerri
Salmon Arm

Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?

I always wanted to be either a hockey player or a scientist. After high school I took a year off to just play hockey but found I missed learning too much, so I went to university and found I really enjoy research. I decided to pursue a graduate degree in order to continue performing research and start a career in research.

Why did you decide to study at UBC?

There is a fairly long and complicated story as to why and how I came to UBC. In short, got my BSc from a relatively small university and wanted to find a school with a focus on research excellence where I would be well supported in my graduate studies. While looking at UBC, I found an opportunity to continue some of the research I had been doing in my undergrad, so I came here.


Learn more about Ivan's research

Menaquinone, collectively referred to as vitamin K2, are important fat-soluble vitamins. Recent studies have found menaquinone supplementation can provide benefits to both cardiovascular and bone health. My research is focused on investigating the bacterial contribution to vitamin K2 (menaquinone) concentrations in fermented dairy products. I use liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry to measure menaquinones in milk and cheese to determine how much bacteria contribute and which bacteria species are associated with the highest menaquinone content. In addition, I am attempting to increase the amount of menaquiones in yogurt through the addition of menaquinone-producing bacteria. Results from this study will improve our understanding of where menaquinones in dairy products come from and aid in creating menaquinone enriched dairy products.