DSM files for EU authorization of methane-reducing feed additive

25 July 2019

Cows methane

Netherlands-based Royal DSM has filed for the EU authorization of its feed additive, which reduces dairy cows’ methane emissions by 30 percent. The company states that just a quarter teaspoon of the additive per cow each day will significantly reduce the environmental impact of dairy products. A cow’s methane production accounts for over half its environmental footprint. The additive will be available in Europe once the EU authorization is granted – potentially in late 2020 or early 2021 – with registration in other regions to follow.

A natural byproduct of cows’ digestion, animal-produced methane is released into the atmosphere mainly through burping and breathing. Similarly, to CO2, it is a greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change. However, it is a more short-lived and potent gas than CO2, meaning that it is critical that methane emissions are reduced to lower the rate of global warming.

The feed additive works by suppressing the enzyme that triggers methane production in a cow’s stomach and takes immediate effects. Once methane production is suppressed, the additive breaks down into compounds already naturally present in the cow’s stomach.

The additive comes as part of DSM’s decade long Project Clean Cow, and is the most extensively studied and scientifically proven solution to the challenge of burped methane to date, the company says. Its efficacy in cutting cows’ methane emissions by approximately 30 percent has been confirmed in 26 peer-reviewed studies globally.

“We’re excited to start registration in Europe,” says Mark van Nieuwland, Program Director at DSM. “This is an important milestone. Our science-based solution has the potential to be a real game-changer in the global effort to reduce the climate impact of the foods we know and love. Because of its global warming potency, mitigating methane emissions will be a powerful lever for the dairy sector to take action on the climate emergency.”

Additionally, DSM has joined the Farming for Generationsglobal alliance along with seven other agricultural sector players. The collaboration aims to allow dairy farmers to adopt more sustainable regenerative farming practices in order to safeguard the environment and the long-term economic viability of farms.

Last year, researchers at Wageningen University & Research and Qlip demonstrated that cows’ methane emissions can be predicted using analyses of both milk fatty acids and infrared milk spectra. These methods could be useful in ensuring that society stays within the 1.5-2°C maximum temperature rise indicated in the Paris Climate Agreement, while we move to net-zero carbon emissions.

Published by Foodingredientsfirst.com on July 22, 2019
Image by Shutterstock


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