Ásta Heiðrún E. Pétursdóttir
Head of Public Health and Food Safety
SeaCH4NGE results include a detailed analysis of the chemical composition of seaweed, including heavy metals and nutritional composition. Iodine concentration proved to be the main limiting factor regarding seaweed as a feed supplement. The decrease in methane observed in laboratory methane production experiments (in vitro) is likely due to compounds called fluorotannin rather than bromoform, a known substance that can reduce methane production in ruminants. In vitro screening of the seaweed showed a moderate decrease in methane, but lower methane production was dependent on seaweed species. The reduction was dose-dependent, ie by using more algae, a greater methane reduction could be seen in vitro. The same two types of seaweed were used in the Rusitec experiment (in vitro), which is a very comprehensive analysis that provides further information. An in-vivo study in cows showed that feeding cattle with a mixture of brown algae has a relatively small effect on methane emissions. However, fluorotannins are known to have other beneficial effects when consumed by ruminants. The report also includes a survey of British cow farmers' attitudes towards algae feeding and climate change.
Skýrslan er lokuð / This report is closed