ClimateMilk – Effect of feed additives on milk quality and functionality

Farm level emissions, which account for around 75% of the green house gas emission from dairy must be reduced dramatically in order reduce the climate footprint of milk and to achieve the ambitious goals of climate neutral dairy production in 2050 put forward by some dairies. This calls for implementation of new management strategies including feed additives, like fat, nitrate or 3-NOP (3-nitro-oxy-propanol). The current project will review if the milk quality and functionality is affected when using these new management strategies. 

By: Grith Mortensen

The three feed additives, fat, nitrate and 3-NOP (3-nitro-oxy-propanol), are promising because they reduce enteric methane production by as much as 30%. The additives have different modes of action in the rumen and, therefore, may complement each other in reducing methane. 

In 2020, a large-scale feeding-trial will start testing the effect of these feed additives in combination with Danish feeding conditions as part of the project “Fodring og fænotype af den klimaeffektive malkeko” (hereinafter “FF-ko”) and lead by Peter Lund.

This offers a unique and timely possibility to explore the effect of these feed additives on milk composition and functionality and not the least to check how/if these additives manifest themselves in original or modified forms in the milk, which is the aim of this project.

Especially the specific fractions directly related to rumen microorganisms (fatty acids and B vitamins) are expected to be the main factors potentially affected. Milk protein composition is another important fraction, which may be altered and thereby potentially affecting the casein micelle stability and mineral balance in the milk. Taken together these impacts may also manifest into processing abilities, functionality, storage stability and sensory properties.

The Project is related to the already granted feeding trial FF-Ko at the Danish Cattle Research Centre, Foulum that will provide milk samples for further investigation of milk quality in terms of composition, functionality, processability and sensory attributes.

Project period: October 2020 - December 2023

Budget: 5.367.000 DKK

Financing: Danish Dairy Research Foundation, Danish Agricultural Agency, Arla Foods

Project manager: Nina Aagaard Poulsen

Institution: Department of Food Science, Aarhus University 

Participants: Department of Food Science, Aarhus University, Department of Animal Science, Aarhus University and Arla Foods


Publications and presentations

Initial article published in Mælkeritidende:

Mælkeritidende 2021 no. 6


The results originating from the project will be published on this page when they become publicly available.

Grith Mælk 1

Grith Mortensen

Chefkonsulent, Branchesekretariat mejeri, Landbrug & Fødevarer/Skejby

Mobil: 40964114