The Netherlands produces milk of superior quality. Product innovation is thus very important in order to strengthen the market position. Information about the composition of milk and the knowledge of ways in which to influence them is essential for this. The composition of milk affects the structure, colour, and odour of dairy products. In addition, there are other ingredients that can play a role in, for example, lowering high blood pressure or milk allergies. The fat composition and the ratio of saturated to (single or multiple) unsaturated fatty acids also impacts human health. And finally, the composition of the milk influences the ability to process milk into various dairy products. [Sequential Research]: The composition of milk is also dependent on the hereditary potential of the cows. By looking for the genes that are responsible for the composition of milk proteins and milk fats, breeding organizations will soon be able to select animals that naturally produce the desired milk. In order to attain this, the research will be carried out in three stages. First, the genes that have a direct connection to the quality characteristics of milk are analyzed for the presence of variants. Secondly, the scope and significance of the genetic variation (and the genetic relationships) in the composition of the milk will be determined. And finally, the genes that contribute to the genetic variation in quality characteristics of milk will be identified. [Way open for specific products]: Project leader Johan van Arendonk thinks that the Netherlands is an extremely suitable location for this research to be conducted: both breeding organizations and the dairy sector are in a leading international position, there is a unique system in place for the registration of animals, and the knowledge infrastructure for breeding, dairy and genetic research is outstanding. This research project opens the way for producing milk and dairy products in the near future that in terms of composition can meet the specific health and nutritional demands of the consumer. The preliminary work which laid a solid base for this project was co-financed by the Nationaal Regieorgaan Genomics and the province of Gelderland. At this stage, the development organization Oost Nederland NV carried out a number of coordinating activities.