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Asian-Australas J Anim Sci > Accepted Articles
DOI: https://doi.org/10.5713/ajas.18.0665    [Accepted] Published online January 2, 2019.
Phenolic plant extracts are additive in their effects against in vitro ruminal methane and ammonia formation
Susanne Sinz1, Svenja Marquardt1, Carla R. Soliva1, Ueli Braun2, Annette Liesegang3, Michael Kreuzer1,* 
1ETH Zurich, Institute of Agricultural Sciences, Universitaetstrasse 2, 8092 Zurich, Switzerland
2Department of Farm Animals, University of Zurich, Winterthurerstrasse 260, 8057 Zurich, Switzerland
3Institute of Animal Nutrition, Vetsuisse Faculty, University of Zürich, Winterthurerstrasse 270, Zürich, Switzerland
Correspondence:  Michael Kreuzer, Tel: +41 44 632 5972, Fax: +41 44 632 1128, Email: michael.kreuzer@inw.agrl.ethz.ch
Received: 5 September 2018   • Revised: 9 November 2018   • Accepted: 29 November 2018
Objective: The methane mitigating potential of various plant-based polyphenol sources is known, but effects of combinations have been rarely 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.


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 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.


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.
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 and acacia bark and determine the ideal dosages of such combinations for purpose of methane mitigation.
Keywords: Methane; Plant Extract; Acacia mearnsii; Grape Seed; Green Tea; Uncaria gambir

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