THE SCIENCE

Mootral is the result of extensive research and development involving pre-eminent scientists and universities

RESEARCH APPROACH

We constantly undertake extensive research to further validate the efficacy of Mootral and to gain a deeper understanding of the specific mode of action. For this, we use different experimental methods and state of the art genomics approaches. These studies also guide us in further fine-tuning the application of Mootral in vivo to achieve the highest efficacy in reducing methane while maintaining the animal’s welfare and productivity.

Mootral emanates from an ecosystem of deep foundational research expertise. Combining an increasing understanding of the most efficient modes of action allow us to screen for and develop more effective solutions to help reduce climate change. This helps us to develop future higher-performance versions of mootral to ever increase our impact on climate change.

MODE OF ACTION

Archaea are a specific group of microbes that are responsible for the production of methane inside the rumen. We were able to show that Mootral directly inhibits the activity of the archaea leading to the profound methane reduction. Importantly, Mootral has no adverse effects on the bacteria that are necessary to digest the feed material in the rumen.

Prof. Gerhard Breves

Prof. Gerhard Breves

"Mootral resulted in increases in SCFA production rate and changes of the microbial community of archaea.... this has to be assumed as the major mechanism of how methane production is reduced in response to Mootral."

PEER-REVIEWED & PUBLISHED STUDIES - HIGHLIGHTS

Complete inhibition of methane in a rumen simulation experiment

In a study carried out by the group of Prof. Gerhard Breves at the University of Veterinary Medicine, Hannover (Germany), the rumen simulation technique (Rusitec) was applied to quantify the effect of different doses of Mootral on the production of methane. Monensin, an antibiotic used in livestock with known anti-methanogenic properties, was used as control.

Results

  • Nearly complete inhibition of methane production in Mootral-treated rumen fluid
  • No negative impact on bacterial synthesis of fatty acids, being vital for the cow’s energy
  • Mootral affects the composition of the methane-producing community of archaea
Rumen_simulation_expermient

Publication: Eger M, Graz M, Riede S and Breves G (2018) Application of Mootral™ Reduces Methane Production by Altering the Archaea Community in the Rumen Simulation Technique. Front. Microbiol. 9:2094. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2018.02094

Significant reduction of methane emissions from dairy cattle on a commercial farm

On a farm in the UK with two breeds, Holstein-Friesian and Jersey, the diet was supplemented with Mootral in the form of concentrate pellets for twelve weeks. Animal welfare and productivity parameters were recorded and methane was measured using hand-held laser devices on a representative subgroup of animals. The trial was performed under the scientific supervision of Prof. Jamie Newbold from SRUC, Scotland.

Results

  • 30% average reduction of methane emissions
  • 3-5% increase in milk yield when feeding Mootral and lower somatic cells in bulk milk
  • No negative impact on animal health or quality of milk
  • Reduction in the number of flies in the barn in the Mootral period
Mootral_Brades_Trial_Graph

Publication: Vrancken H, Suenkel M, Hargreaves P, Chew L and Towers E (2019) Reduction of Enteric Methane Emission in a Commercial Dairy Farm by a Novel Feed Supplement. Open Journal of Animal Sciences, 9, 286-296. doi: 10.4236/ojas.2019.93024

Increase in the productivity of dairy cattle on a commercial farm

On a commercial farm in the Netherlands, the effect of Mootral on the performance of dairy cattle and the quality of milk was assessed. In a six-week trial, two groups of cows were either fed the normal ration (control) or were supplemented with Mootral in the form of concentrate pellets.

Results

  • 4% more milk and higher milk persistence in the Mootral group
  • Increase in milk fat content with Mootral
  • No negative impact on organoleptic properties of the milk

Poster presentation: IDF conference International Dairy Federation, Belfast, Nov 2017

Field trial with feedlot cattle at the university of California Davis, USA

EFFECT OF MOOTRAL™ – A GARLIC AND CITRUS EXTRACT BASED FEED ADDITIVE – ON ENTERIC METHANE EMISSIONS IN FEEDLOT CATTLE

In the feedlot of the UC Davis university campus, 20 finishing Angus-Hereford cross steers were blocked by initial bodyweight to reduce initial weight variability, then randomly allocated to one of the following treatments: control (no Mootral) or treatment, supplemented with Mootral in the form of alfalfa pellets for twelve weeks. Animal welfare and productivity parameters were recorded and methane was measured using Greenfeed. The trial was performed under the scientific supervision of Prof Ermias Kebreab of UC Davis.

Results

  • Methane yield was constantly lower in Mootral group vs. control, up to a significant 23% reduction of methane at the end of the trial
  • Full Mootral dose has been successfully reached later in the trial due to low acceptance of type concentrate feed (alfalfa pellets)
  • No negative effects on weight gain and animal health
Mootral UC Davis Trial 1

Publication: Roque B, Van Lingen H, Vrancken H, Kebreab E (2019) Effect of Mootral—a garlic- and citrus-extract-based feed additive—on enteric methane emissions in feedlot cattle. Translational Animal Science. Volume 3, Issue 4, July 2019, Pages 1383–1388, https://doi.org/10.1093/tas/txz133

Since 1997 Gerhard Breves has been the Director of the Department of Physiology at the University of Veterinary Medicine in Hannover until his retirement in 2020. He continues his research as well as his work as our scientific advisor.

His major research focus is gastrointestinal physiology in ruminants and monogastric animals with a special emphasis on comparative aspects of rumen and hindgut microbial metabolism, as well as mechanisms and regulation of epithelial transport processes. This includes both, functional and molecular characterisation of nutrient and electrolyte transport systems.

Jamie Newbold graduated from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne with a BSc Honours in Agricultural Biochemistry and Nutrition in 1981. He went on to do his PhD on Microbial Metabolism of lactic acid in the rumen at the Hannah Research Institute in Scotland.

His research interests are focused on the understanding and manipulation of gut ecosystems to improve animal productivity while reducing the environmental impact of animal husbandry.

Ermias Kebreab has conducted extensive research in developing strategies for using feed additives to reduce methane emissions from livestock and has authored more than 200 peer-reviewed publications. He is chair of the United Nations FAO Technical Working Group on Feed Additives, a committee member for the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) Panel on Anthropogenic Methane Emissions in the United States and also serves on the NAS Committee for Nutrient Requirements of Dairy Cattle. He is a contributing author to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 2019 Update on Good Practices Guideline in Chapter 4, “Emissions from Livestock and Manure Management.

Veerle Fievez obtained her PhD in Applied Biological Sciences, Ghent University in 2002 and is currently Professor of Animal Nutrition at Ghent University’s Department of Animal Production. Her focus is on ruminant nutrition, microbial digestion and environmental challenges.

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