What is the science behind Ruelpsen

Cows belch less with garlic - and thus produce fewer greenhouse gases

Methane emissions reduced
Methane emissions from livestock and cows are driving climate change. A Swiss company, on the other hand, has developed a feed additive. Farmers can now even become emissions traders.
Adding garlic to feed could reduce methane emissions from cows.

You have to know that

  • 15 percent of the greenhouse emissions emitted worldwide come from the livestock industry.
  • Methane is produced in the stomach of cows and their conspecifics when they ruminate.
  • A new feed additive reduces methane emissions by around a quarter.

Farmers who encourage their dairy cows and cattle to belch less can now make money from it. Namely on the climate compensation market. The feed additive from the Swiss agritech company Mootral received certification in December 2019 that it reduces greenhouse gas emissions. This means that farmers who use the feed additive Mootral will now receive so-called greenhouse gas credits after a test procedure, which they can then sell on the global climate compensation market. The addition was certified by Verra, the world's largest program for voluntary climate compensation - the organization awards the official title “Verified Carbon Standard” (VCS).


Livestock belching is a major factor in global warming. Studies show that around 15 percent of all greenhouse gases emitted worldwide come from livestock farming. This mainly has to do with the digestion of ruminants such as cattle, dairy cows or even sheep and goats. When cattle digest grass in their stomachs, methane is produced, which they release into the environment. If it gets into the atmosphere, it acts as an aggressive greenhouse gas: methane binds 25 times more heat than carbon dioxide. A single dairy cow can regurgitate around 500 liters of methane a day. Projections show that cows and their conspecifics emit around 100 million tons of the gas every year - that is around 30 percent of all methane emissions. The global increase in livestock farming is seen as one of the biggest obstacles to the goals of the Paris climate summit. The forecast gas emissions of the meat and dairy industry would take up over 80 percent of all permitted emissions within a 1.5-degree global warming in 2050.

No wonder, then, that understanding what goes on in animals' stomachs, called the rumen, is of vital importance in combating climate change. Researchers know that during the fermentation of the grass, microorganisms called methanogens metabolize methane to produce it.

Science check ✓

Study: Effect of Mootral — a garlic- and citrus-extract-based feed additive — on enteric methane emissions in feedlot cattleCommentThis is a comment from the authorThe sample is relatively small with 20 oxen. The co-financing by the manufacturer Mootral could also influence the results. The study therefore gives an indication that the supplement works well - but has to be confirmed by further studies.More information about this study ...Reliability: 20 oxen observed for 12 weeks, dose of 15 grams Mootral per day, control group, randomized, peer-reviewed.Study type: In vivo experiment.Funders: The study received financial support from Mootral GmbH. All information about the higgs Science Check

The feed additive Mootral influences this process. Important components are the allicin obtained from garlic and citrus elements such as orange peel. “Mootral reduces methanogens in the rumen without having negative side effects on fermentation,” explains Ermias Kebreab, an expert in sustainable agriculture and animal science at the University of California at Davis who researched the effects of Mootral. That means: methane is reduced without affecting the digestion of the animals.

Kebreab and colleagues examined the effect of Mootral on beef cattle in a study: "We were able to prove that adding 15 grams of feed additive per day and per animal reduced methane emissions in young oxen by 23 percent," reports the researcher. The emissions of other animals also fell massively: previous studies showed that the methane burps in dairy cows were reduced by around 38 percent.

Since the animals also have to use less energy for digestion, they need less feed and produce, for example, more milk - around eight percent more. The addition even reduces stress for the animals. Because: The garlic aroma also keeps annoying flies away.

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