Cows grazing in a field

The science behind measuring burps

What’s the science behind a Gamechanger?

Grill’d is the first to bring methane-reduced beef direct to consumers. To do that, we had to go out and invest in groundbreaking science and tech.

Luckily, it was all happening on our doorstep, at Sea Forest in Tasmania.

When we partnered up with Sea Forest to lead the way in beef methane reduction, it wasn’t enough to just give cows the seaweed pellets and hope for the best.

We had to get PROOF it was all working.

First, the burps

A few fast facts:

  • Cows make methane in two main ways: digestion, and waste.

  • Cows are ruminants. When bacteria in their rumen (four-chambered stomach) breaks down complex carbohydrates into simple sugars (enteric fermentation) they produce, among other things, gases such as carbon dioxyde (CO2) and methane (CH4).

  • 95% of cow’s methane emissions come from their burps (not the, uh, other place).

  • Asparagopsis contains bioactive compounds that inhibit the production of methane in ruminants.

  • The seaweed oil encases the grass based pellet, which we give to the cows.

Want more seaweed know-how? Take a deep dive ⟶

Study Buddies

In a world-first study out at the Grill’d farm, the University of New England (UNE) measured the methane emissions of our free-range black Angus cattle using Greenfeeders.

It’s not cheap, but we knew it was important to have the right tools for the job – and we couldn’t afford to sit back and wait when our planet’s at a tipping point.

How’s the Greenfeeder work?

  1. Cows stick their heads into the Greenfeeder trough.

  2. It reads their ear tag and automatically drops a fixed quantity of pellets.

  3. They eat the seaweed pellets.

  4. They burp as they eat.

  5. The Greenfeeder measures the burps.

  6. That important burp-data is sent to the owners of the Greenfeeder in the USA via the cloud.

  7. Our American friends prepare the data and send back to UNE, to be analysed daily.

  8. Return to step 1.

More of a visual learner? Check out the video below.

Our test batch of cattle were fed either a control pellet (5% canola oil and zero Asparagopsis) or an Asparagopsis pellet (5% canola oil but also containing Asparagopsis extract).

Want to know more about our cows and feeding? We’ve got the deets ⟶

When the UNE scientists had collected enough data from the ongoing experiment, they started running the numbers.

The results? Up to 67% methane reduction in the cows that ate Asparagopsis.

How’s that for a first try?

We’re stoked, but not shocked – the results were consistent with Sea Forest studies conducted over the years. And we know it can get even better.

Planet-savin' beef burgers

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