Phenolic plant extracts are additive in their effects against in vitro ruminal methane and ammonia formation

  • Sinz, Susanne (Institute of Agricultural Sciences, ETH Zurich) ;
  • Marquardt, Svenja (Institute of Agricultural Sciences, ETH Zurich) ;
  • Soliva, Carla R. (Institute of Agricultural Sciences, ETH Zurich) ;
  • Braun, Ueli (Department of Farm Animals, University of Zurich) ;
  • Liesegang, Annette (Institute of Animal Nutrition, Vetsuisse Faculty, University of Zurich) ;
  • Kreuzer, Michael (Institute of Agricultural Sciences, ETH Zurich)
  • Received : 2018.09.05
  • Accepted : 2018.11.29
  • Published : 2019.07.01


Objective: The methane mitigating potential of various plant-based polyphenol sources is known, but effects of combinations have rarely been tested. The aim of the present study was to determine whether binary and 3-way combinations of such phenol sources affect ruminal fermentation less, similar or more intensively than separate applications. Methods: The extracts used were from Acacia mearnsii bark (acacia), Vitis vinifera (grape) seed, Camellia sinensis leaves (green tea), Uncaria gambir leaves (gambier), Vaccinium macrocarpon berries (cranberry), Fagopyrum esculentum seed (buckwheat), and Ginkgo biloba leaves (ginkgo). All extracts were tested using the Hohenheim gas test. This was done alone at 5% of dry matter (DM). Acacia was also combined with all other single extracts at 5% of DM each, and with two other phenol sources (all possible combinations) at 2.5%+2.5% of DM. Results: Methane formation was reduced by 7% to 9% by acacia, grape seed and green tea and, in addition, by most extract combinations with acacia. Grape seed and green tea alone and in combination with acacia also reduced methane proportion of total gas to the same degree. The extracts of buckwheat and gingko were poor in phenols and promoted ruminal fermentation. All treatments except green tea alone lowered ammonia concentration by up to 23%, and the binary combinations were more effective as acacia alone. With three extracts, linear effects were found with total gas and methane formation, while with ammonia and other traits linear effects were rare. Conclusion: The study identified methane and ammonia mitigating potential of various phenolic plant extracts and showed a number of additive and some non-linear effects of combinations of extracts. Further studies, especially in live animals, should concentrate on combinations of extracts from grape seed, green tea leaves Land acacia bark and determine the ideal dosages of such combinations for the purpose of methane mitigation.


Supported by : Swiss National Science Foundation


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