Essential Oils as In Vitro Ruminal Fermentation Manipulators to Mitigate Methane Emission by Beef Cattle Grazing Tropical Grasses. Academic Article uri icon


  • There is increasing pressure to identify natural feed additives to mitigate methane emissions from livestock systems. Our objective was to investigate the effects of essential oils (EO) extracts star anise (Illicium verum), citronella (Cymbopogon winterianus), clove bud (Eugenia caryophyllus), staigeriana eucalyptus (Eucalyptus staigeriana), globulus eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus), ginger (Zingiber officinale), ho wood (Cinnamomum camphora), melaleuca (Melaleuca alternifolia), oregano (Origanum vulgare) and white thyme (Thymus vulgaris) on in vitro methane emissions from four rumen-cannulated Nellore cattle grazing a tropical grass pasture as inoculum donors. The semi-automated gas production technique was used to assess total gas production, dry matter degradability, partitioning factor, ammoniacal nitrogen, short-chain fatty acids and methane production. All essential oils were tested in four doses (0, 50, 250 and 500 mg/L) in a randomized block design, arranged with four blocks, 10 treatments, four doses and two replicates. Within our study, oregano and white Thyme EO reduced net methane production at 250 mg/L, without affecting substrate degradation. Essential oils from oregano and white thyme have the potential to modify ruminal fermentation and suppress rumen methanogenesis without negative effects on feed digestibility, indicating promise as alternatives to ionophores for methane reduction in beef cattle.

published proceedings

  • Molecules

author list (cited authors)

  • Benetel, G., Silva, T., Fagundes, G. M., Welter, K. C., Melo, F. A., Lobo, A., Muir, J. P., & Bueno, I.

complete list of authors

  • Benetel, Gabriela||Silva, Thaysa Dos Santos||Fagundes, Gisele Maria||Welter, KatiĆ©li Caroline||Melo, Flavia Alves||Lobo, Annelise AG||Muir, James Pierre||Bueno, Ives CS

publication date

  • March 2022