Ashgrove and Sea Forest collaborate to launch world's first low-emission milk

📰 Food Ingredients First | 27 March 2024

Tasmanian dairy producer Ashgrove has teamed up with Sea Forest, a 2023 Earthshot Prize finalist, to unveil the world’s first commercially available low-emission milk, Ashgrove Eco-Milk.

This product presents an option for consumers eager for sustainable dairy products without compromising on taste or quality. Ashgrove Eco-Milk is now making its way to consumers via Woolworths and IGA supermarkets throughout Tasmania.

“This collaboration demonstrates the potential of our methane-mitigating feed product, Seafeed. We are committed to working with partners like Ashgrove to expand this technology and empower consumers worldwide to make sustainable choices while enjoying delicious and nutritious milk,” says Sam Elsom, CEO of Sea Forest.

Innovation for low-emission production
At the heart of Ashgrove Eco-Milk’s low-emission feature is the collaboration between Ashgrove and Sea Forest, both hailing from Tasmania. Sea Forest, a industry player in Asparagopsis seaweed cultivation, has developed Seafeed, a feed supplement poised to reduce methane emissions from livestock by up to 90%. This innovation enables Ashgrove to reduce the methane footprint of its dairy herd, ensuring the production of full cream milk that maintains its traditional taste and quality.

Recent research shows that seaweed is a resilient agricultural product, and its effectiveness in meeting demands stems from its ability to thrive in various environmental conditions.

Seafeed’s integration into livestock diets has been in commercial practice across farming and feedlot operations for three years, supported by a solid foundation of over 30 peer-reviewed scientific studies.

Innovative applications
Beyond the dairy industry, Sea Forest has collaborated with companies like Grill’d, creating a sustainable grass-fed beef burger, and with Fonterra, Asahi, and MJ Bale, aiming to cut methane emissions across diverse product lines and industries.

Sea Forest’s innovation extends beyond Seafeed, with the company actively developing a suite of Asparagopsis seaweed-based products targeting sectors such as nutraceuticals, bioplastics, and biofuels. This range of applications can contribute to tackling climate change challenges.

In academia, materials researchers at Flinders University in Australia, in collaboration with One-Five, a German biomaterials developer, leveraged seaweed extracts to innovate biopolymer coating materials intended to replace existing foodservice packaging.

Last winter, scientists at North Carolina State University in the US used crustaceans and seaweed to develop biopolymer films. The researchers assert that seaweed holds considerable promise for biopolymer production.

Edited by Sichong Wang

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