The drive to become more efficient is viable and well in the food industry and this trend has been altered in recent years by the challenge of making the advancements more environmentally friendly.
Meat and dairy production have become targets of much scrutiny and blame in the charge against global warming. By 2050, the EU aims to cut its emissions by 80-95%. Livestock are responsible for 44% of all methane emissions and methane has 36 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide.
Recent research in Australia demonstrated that feeding the seaweed Asparagopsis taxiformis to sheep at 2% the dry weight of feed resulted in 50-70% less methane release over a 72-day period continuously.
SEASOLUTIONS will investigate the potential of native, harvested seaweeds to reduce enteric methane emissions from sheep, beef and dairy cattle. It will help to gain a fundamental understanding of the mechanism of action of methane reduction in the rumen; effects on animal health and foods produced and the economic viability of using seaweed components to reduce methane emissions.
The project started in January 2020. We held our first consortium meeting on March 5th and 6th 2020. Several seaweeds have been exchanged within the group and between partners. Characterisation work has begun and the following attributes have been characterised in WP2:
Samples have been passed through the in vitro methane screen (i.e. Rusitec) and the first animal trial will begin in November 2020 (FLI, Germany) with a selected seaweed which has been characterised for its methane mitigation potential and bioactives by AAFC, Teagasc, QUB and Sligo IT.
The major result from this project will be the selection of seaweeds and seaweed bioactives for use as feed additives to reduce green house gas emissions in a pasture based system.
*At the time of the proposal. Please consider this data as an accurate estimate; it may vary during the project’s lifespan.
Total costs include in kind contribution by grant holders and can therefore be higher than the total requested funding.