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Asparagopsis
Asparagopsis taxiformis.jpg
Asparagopsis taxiformis in Mayotte.
Scientific classification e
(unranked): Archaeplastida
Division: Rhodophyta
Class: Florideophyceae
Order: Bonnemaisoniales
Family: Bonnemaisoniaceae
Genus: Asparagopsis
Mont.

Asparagopsis is a genus of edible red algae, not to be confused with Asparagus (genus), which is a terrestrial vegetable. Asparagopsis armata is a found in temperate waters, while Asparagopsis taxiformis thrives in tropical and subtropical climates.

Uses

Like all macroalgae, Asparagopsis contains bromoform, a halogen compound which is known to inhibit methane production in ruminants. Because of its high bromoform content, Asparagopsis has proven to be very effective in inhibiting methane production in livestock, with experiments slashing emissions by 99%. Several companies are producing Asparagopsis for use as a feed additive for the livestock industry.

A collaborative study conducted in Australia by Meat and Livestock Australia, CSIRO and James Cook University, confirmed the effectiveness of Asparagopsis in reducing methane emissions. Emissions were reduced by 80% when Asparagopsis accounted for 3% of the cattle's feed.

Research award

In 2020 an Asparagopsis-based food supplement FutureFeed won a Food Planet Prize worth $1 million. The importance of the product is that it reduces powerful greenhouse gases produced by cattle as they digest their food. The winners said it would use the prize money to create an international commercial fund to help First Nations communities generate income from cultivating and selling the seaweed."

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