What Must Be True for Optimal Efficacy?

What Must Be True for Optimal Efficacy?

By CH4 Global
July 8, 2024

Asparagopsis is scientifically proven to reduce enteric methane emissions by up to 90% ⎯ without negatively effecting cattle welfare or beef quality or taste. However, while more than one company is offering cattle feed additives that include Asparagopsis, not all the final products will consistently produce the potential results. CH4 Global addresses the range of relevant elements and issues to ensure that our products contribute to the highest levels of product efficacy.

To consistently deliver optimal efficacy, multiple factors must be addressed:
  • Does the product contain the right amount of active ingredient?
  • Is the product stable?
  • Can it be evenly distributed across cattle as they feed?
  • Will the cattle eat it?
  • Is it easy to incorporate the product into existing operations?
Ingredient Quality and Appropriate Use

It’s a must that the right amount of Asparagopsis is included at the right concentration, both during production and when cattle eat it to deliver consistent efficacy. This requires quality seaweed, along with careful processing and manufacturing.

We define quality seaweed as that containing the right level of Bromoform (CHBr3) and having the desired physical characteristics. Bromoform is a key active ingredient that disrupts enzymes in the gut microbes of cattle, helping reduce the production of methane gas during digestion. This is used as a marker bioactive, in other words, the active we measure to assess potency. Yet, Bromoform alone is only responsible for about 1/3 of the effects of Asparagopsis when used as part of a feed additive. It contains approximately 100 additional volatile – and valuable – bioactives. This is why we use the whole Asparagopsis plant.

The key ingredient in our Methane Tamer™ Beef Feedlot feed additive is whole-food, dried Asparagopsis, grown to our exacting standards, thus ensuring the methane-reducing and other benefits of our product. We have defined a unique way to cost-effectively grow and process Asparagopsis and preserve the bioactivity when made into Methane Tamer. Since we use the whole seaweed instead of an extraction, all of the additional bioactives come into play. In fact, we guarantee 6 mg/g minimum of bromoform in every Methane Tamer Beef Feedlot package.

Because of this – and the other ways we address efficacy – we expect a minimum of 70% reduction, with the opportunity for up to 90% reduction of emissions.

Production and Formulation Considerations

During production, we check seaweed quality and blend it with other ingredients to make Methane Tamer and ensure we are hitting certain parameters – including chemical and physical characteristics – with every batch. For every ingredient we use, we set a specification to ensure top quality and a consistent product for farmers.

Importantly, we have run stability testing to make sure that those quality measures are maintained throughout the life of the product thus ensuring efficacy and useability are maintained throughout the lifetime of the product. We also ensure key micro nutrients, such as iodine, are at suitable levels.

Methane Tamer is also formulated to create a format that will blend well and evenly into rations. Since our proprietary formulation contains superior-quality Asparagopsis and other natural ingredients, it supports intake by cattle and easy inclusion in feeding regimens. As a granulate, it enables easy integration into a total mix ration. Plus, other ingredients address palatability to ensure cattle will eat it.

Some feed additives can actually create problems when it comes to consumption by cattle. For example, uneven blending or being dusty and blowing out of the mixer or trough significantly detract from the efficacy of feed additives. If the product is too wet or sticky, it might stay where it was dispensed into the feed. Caking and clumping could mean uneven consumption by cattle.

Through our strict quality assurance procedures, we ensure the right characteristics-to-mix through for our product, and in real-life on-farm mixing, have seen that our product spreads throughout rations. As a result, a similar concentration of our product appears throughout cattle rations and in their consumption of it.

Asparagosis is proven to reduce methane emissions by as much as 90% when consistently and evenly added to dry matter. Methane Tamer is designed to enable this to happen throughout its shelf life by ensuring chemical and physical stability.

Packaging for Rationing and Shelf Stability

Our packaging specifies the ratio of product-to-feed blend at the farm. We also chose package materials that protect the product throughout its shelf life. Moreover, our product is guaranteed to be shelf stable and efficacious for 6 months from manufacture with appropriate storage.

Validating in the Field

It’s critical that cattle accept the feed that includes an additive like Methane Tamer. Without such acceptance, it’s not possible to realize the methane reduction enabled by these additives.

Cattle are good at sorting feed and avoiding any unpalatable feed or additives. An on-farm study of Methane Tamer in a real-life setting showed no feed sorting. And weight gain was the same for cattle fed Methane Tamer compared to those not fed it.

By taking the approaches and applying the various measures explained here, we can confidently assure farmers and food producers that every package of Methane Tamer delivers industry-leading levels of efficacy, every day, for every operation.

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