Ruminants produce significant amounts of greenhouse gases and tannins can be used to inhibit the activity of methanogenic bacteria responsible for these gas emissions
Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas and one cow produces approx. 78 kg methane every year. Thus it is clear that methane emissions by ruminants (including sheep and goats) significantly contribute to global warming as well. It has been shown that certain types of tannins are able to inhibit the activity of methanogenic bacteria in the rumen so that methane emissions are decreased by 20-55%.
Currently many types of individual tannins are purified and tested for their anti-methanogen activity so that clear structure-activity patterns could be created here as well. After this step further research aims at finding or developing such plant species that would naturally contain the most correct tannin structures in effective concentrations. Animal feed made of these plants could then be widely used to significantly decrease the greenhouse gas emmisions by ruminants. If a single country has e.g. 300 000 dairy cows, then a 20% decrease in methane emissions would mean 4.6 million kg less methane every year for this one country alone.