Plant ellagitannins are a biologically important group of chemically complex natural products. Although, a lot of research has been focused on tannins and plant-ruminant interactions, the role and significance of ellagitannins on ruminant nutrition and health is still largely unknown. This study isolates, purifies, and characterizes 30 structurally diverse ellagitannins and thereafter drawing on the state-of-the-art chemical techniques and extensive in vitro experiments answers to the following main questions: (i) What effects do different ellagitannins have on rumen fermentation, (ii) What are the modes of action, (iii) How efficient are different ellagitannins at inhibiting the parasitic nematodes of ruminants, and (iv) How efficient are different ellagitannins at binding with proteins such as BSA and gelatin. The research project is multidisciplinary and carried out in collaboration with three international research groups:
- Prof. Irene Mueller-Harvey and Dr. Rebecca Green, Reading University
- Dr. Wilbert Pellikaan, Wageningen University
- Dr. Hervé Hoste, INRA
This project is funded by the Academy of Finland (2011-2014, decision 251388) and lead by PhD, Docent Maarit Karonen.