Spices Could Be An Effective, Inexpensive Option To Reducing Methane Emission

July 20, 2010 / 1 Comment

For years, methane emissions by dairy animals have been a cause for concern to environmental activists. Now, scientists have found that some spices can reduce the amount of methane that is produced by the animals. Latest research says that adding coriander and turmeric to the animals’ diet can drastically reduce the methane causing bacteria in the animal’s gut. Animals like sheep. Cows and goats burp the methane into the air.

cow Spices Could Be An Effective, Inexpensive Option To Reducing Methane Emission

The research was carried out at Newcastle University, where the researchers found that these spices wipe out the bad bacteria that cause the methane production in the intestines and allow good bacteria to flourish.

This is sure to be welcome news in the UK, where an approximate count of 30 million sheep produce an estimated 20 litres of methane per day. This gas is considered to be twenty times more powerful than carbon dioxide in affecting global warming. It is believed that the sheep loses 12% of its food energy the methane production, which results in lower milk and meat production.

The scientists based their research on the fact that spices are widely used in cuisines all over the world to aid digestion and kill bacteria. The slow digestive process of ruminant animals is one of the key factors of the methane being produced in their bodies in such quantities. The team studied the effects of five spices – coriander, clove, turmeric, cumin and cinnamon. Of these, coriander was found to be the most effective in cutting methane production – cutting the previous levels by 40%; turmeric cause a 30% drop and cumin 22%.

Since the ban of antibiotics, scientists have been looking for alternatives to aid in methane reduction. The answer may lie in the inexpensive, yet viable option of adding curry spices to the animals feed.

(Via The Independent)