Bloomberg the Company

Bloomberg Anywhere Login


Connecting decision makers to a dynamic network of information, people and ideas, Bloomberg quickly and accurately delivers business and financial information, news and insight around the world.


Financial Products

Enterprise Products


Customer Support

  • Americas

    +1 212 318 2000

  • Europe, Middle East, & Africa

    +44 20 7330 7500

  • Asia Pacific

    +65 6212 1000

Follow Us

Industry Products

Businessweek Archives

There's Milk Fed Veal. Why Not Manure Fed Ham?

Developments to Watch


You could call it the ultimate in recycling: Dutch researchers have found a way to make animal feed from processed manure--and, while they're at it, curb ground-water pollution and reduce acid rain.

One problem with manure is its ammonia content. When manure is spread on fields, much of the ammonia evaporates, contributing to acid-rain formation. The rest is converted into nitrates, which can seep into the ground and contaminate water supplies. Manure also contains phosphate, another groundwater contaminant that's a common additive in pig food. Now, Gist-brocades, a biotech company in Delft, Holland, offers a one-two fix: First, specially selected bacteria soak up ammonia and turn it into lysine, a protein essential to animal nutrition. It is mixed with pig feed in place of soy. Next, a genetically engineered enzyme called phytase is added to the mixture to help pigs digest phosphorus from plants. This reduces the need for phosphate additives in their feed--and Gist claims the net effect is to cut phosphates in manure by 30%. To prove its idea, Gist is setting up a joint venture with a large bank, Rabobank Nederland, and the Dutch commodity board. Commercial manure processing should begin in 1993.EDITED BY ROBERT BUDERI

blog comments powered by Disqus