Assist. Prof. Kristina Kljak, PhD

Assist. Prof. Kristina Kljak, PhD

Assistant Professor
Division for Animal Sciences
Department of Animal Nutrition
Office location: 2nd Pavilion, ground floor, room 009
Phone: +385 1 239 4022
Email: kkljak ( at )
Languages: Croatian, English
Consultations: Monday 11am -12pm, Thursday 11am - 12 pm

Academic qualifications

  • 2006 - 2012: PhD
    Faculty of Agriculture, University of Zagreb, Croatia
    Antioxidant and pigmentation properties of carotenoids from different corn hybrid grains in egg production
  • 1999 - 2005: MSc
    Faculty of Science, University of Zagreb, Croatia
    Isolation and determination of anti-transferrin antibodies using enzyme immunotest

Employment and work experience

  • 2006 - : Faculty of Agriculture, University of Zagreb, Croatia
    2016-now: assistant professor
    2012-2016: teaching assistant
    2006-2012: young researcher


Research interests

  • Physical-chemical traits of feeds
  • Quantitative determination of content and antioxidant activity of maize grain
  • Carotenoid pigmentation properties
  • Digestion kinetics of starch, fiber and protein

Training and research experience

  • 2020/02/10 - 2020/02/14: University of the Balearic Islands (scientific)
    EUROCAROTEN training school "Functional and omics analysis of carotenoid interventions"
  • 2019/04/08 - 2019/04/10: Royal Holloway University of London (scientific)
    EUROCAROTEN training school Analysis of carotenoids"
  • 2018/10/23 - 2018/10/24: IATA-CSIC (scientific)
    EUROCAROTEN workshop "Carotenoids in food, nutrition and health"
  • 2018/06/04 - 2018/06/19: The Pennsylvania State University (scientific)
    Academic mobility, “Nutritional research with calves after weaning”
  • 2018/03/19 - 2018/03/23: Newcastle University (scientific)
    EUROCAROTEN training school "Bioavailability of carotenoids"
  • 2015/11/11 - 2015/11/12: The Pennsylvania State University (expert)
    Dairy Cattle Nutrition Workshop, Penn State Extension Dairy Team, The Pennsylvania State University
  • 2015/01/05 - 2015/12/23: The Pennsylvania State University, Department of Animal Science (scientific)
    Fulbright scholarship, “Effect of physically effective fiber to ruminally fermentable starch ratio in precise high-concentrate diet on heifers performances"
  • 2014/09/24 - 2014/09/26: European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Institute for Reference Materials and Measurements (expert)
    Enlargement and Integration Workshop: Analysis of food and feed contaminants – Legal and scientific framework; Including method validation and measurement uncertainty
  • 2013/04/15 - 2013/06/15: Institute of Chemical Technology, Department of Fermentation Chemistry and Bioengineering (scientific)
    CEEPUS program (CIII-HR-0306-05-1213 – For safe and healthy food in Middle Europe)
  • 2011/05/01 - 2011/06/01: Institute of Chemical Technology, Department of Fermentation Chemistry and Bioengineering (scientific)
    CEEPUS program (CII-HR-0306-03-1011 – For safe and healthy food in Middle Europe)
  • 2010/01/06 - 2010/02/05: Wroclaw University of Environmental and Life Sciences, Faculty of Agriculture (scientific)
    CEEPUS program (CII-HU-0003-05-09100 – Agriculture and environment in the 21st century)



Title Funding Duration AFZ role
Biodostupnost karotenoida kukuruza kod nesilica: utjecaj mikrostrukture zrna i sastava smjese Croatian science foundation 2020/01/15 - 2024/01/14 coordinator
Hibridno sušenje i valorizacija biljnog prehrambenog otpada i nusproizvoda Croatian science foundation 2020/01/01 - 2023/12/31 partner
European network to advance carotenoid research and applications in agro-food and health COST 2016/04/18 - 2020/04/17 partner
Hranidbena, antioksidativna i prebiotička svojstva kukuruza za domaće životinje MZOS 2007/01/01 - 2013/12/31 coordinator

university support

Title Funding Duration AFZ role
Sadržaj i antioksidacijska aktivnost fenolnih kiselina antocijanina zrna žutog kukuruza Sveučilište u Zagrebu 2017/01/01 - 2017/12/31 coordinator
Fenotipska svojstva, masnokiselinski sastav i senzorna kvaliteta mesa i jaja kokoši hrvatice Sveučilište u Zagrebu 2016/01/01 - 2016/12/31 coordinator
Utjecaj mikotoksina na sadržaj fenola i karotenoida u zrnu kukuruza Sveučilište u Zagrebu 2015/01/01 - 2015/12/31 coordinator
Utjecaj fitogenih dodataka na kvalitetu jaja i zdravstveni status kokoši nesilica Sveučilište u Zagrebu 2014/01/01 - 2014/12/31 coordinator


  • Zurak, D., Kljak, K. & Grbeša, D. (2020). The composition of floury and vitreous endosperm affects starch digestibility kinetics of the whole maize kernel. Journal of Cereal Science, 95, 103079.
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jcs.2020.103079
  • Kljak, K., Heinrichs, B. S. & Heinrichs, A. J. (2019) Fecal particle dry matter and fiber distribution of heifers fed ad libitum and restricted with low and high forage quality. Journal of Dairy Science, 102, 4694-4703.
    DOI: 10.3168/jds.2018-15457
  • Kljak, K., Duvnjak, M. & Grbeša, D. (2018) Contribution of zein content and starch characteristics to vitreousness of commercial maize hybrids. Journal of Cereal Science, 80, 57-62.
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jcs.2018.01.010
  • Kljak, K., Pino, F., Harvatine, K. J., & Heinrichs, A. J. (2017) Analysis of selected rumen microbial populations in dairy heifers limit fed diets varying in trace mineral form and starch content. Livestock Science, 198, 93-96.
    DOI: 10.1016/j.livsci.2017.02.012
  • Kljak, K., Pino, F., & Heinrichs, A. J. (2017) Effect of forage to concentrate ratio with sorghum silage as a source of forage on rumen fermentation, N balance, and purine derivative excretion in limit-fed dairy heifers. Journal of dairy science, 100, 213-223.
    DOI: 10.3168/jds.2016-11383
  • Kljak, K., & Grbeša, D. (2015) Carotenoid content and antioxidant activity of hexane extracts from selected Croatian corn hybrids. Food Chemistry, 167, 402-408. DOI: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2014.07.002

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