The AgriFoodTure project portfolio currently consists of 11 projects which all contributes to the transition of food, agriculture and land use. One of the projects is Mabicow which project manager Mette Olaf Nielsen answers 3 questions about here:
What is your goal with the project?
To develop a methane-reducing additive for cattle feed from bioactive components found in macroalgae. In previous studies, we have discovered that certain algae possess this methane-reducing effect. In the Mabicow project, we delve into the core structure of the algae and investigate which bioactive components have the methane-reducing effect.
What is the current status of the project?
We have selected a total of five Nordic macroalgae species as the target species for our project: Ascophyllum nodossum, Corda filum, Fucus serratus, Fucus vesiculosus, and Saccharina latissima, which are known to have some methane reducing activity.
Through untargeted metabolomics approaches, we have identified clusters of molecular compounds that are unique for each of these five species. Biomass from three of the target species (two wild populations and one cultivated) has been harvested at different seasons, and we only need a few more samples to establish the annual variations in metabolome profiles.
Biomass from a third species (summer species) will be harvested this summer, and for the last species, a collection of samples representing annual variation will be delivered during autumn-winter 2023.
What is the potential of the project?
We hypothesize that the bioactive components derived from Nordic macroalgae will have the potential to reduce methane production in the forestomach by at least 45%, which is significant. A developed additive will be natural, and we aim to obtain organic certification for its use, something that other methane-reducing substances currently lack.