New Bible Hill facility could attract projects from all over the world

Jason Malloy
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BIBLE HILL - Reducing green house gas emissions may be as easy as feeding a pill to dairy cows.
It is one of the projects Dr. Richard Ablett, of the Atlantic BioVenture Centre in Bible Hill, has identified as an exciting up-and-coming project. He is now attempting to bring the Welsh company that made the discovery here to set up its North American office.
"If you take the allison of garlic and feed it to a dairy cow, you can kill the methane-generating bugs in the front stomach," he said.
Cows burp the methane, which occurs during the fermentation process when a cow digests grass.
"In the world of green house gas and global warming, methane is 26 times worse than (carbon dioxide). One cow produces 500 litres a day, there are 1.5 billion cows in the world, the amount of methane they produce and the impact is worse than all the cars and trucks on the road in the world," Ablett said.
Carbon Mootral (based on "moo" and carbon neu-"tral"), working with Neem Biotech Ltd., developed the product.
A United Kingdom chocolate company has recently said it will only accept milk from methane-reduced cows to make its chocolate while Denmark has instituted a tax on cows not receiving the garlic extract.
Ablett also envisions the day when people are buying "methane-reduced" milk at the grocery store.
Here are a few other examples of projects that could be part of the new centre:
‰ A Caledonia, N.S. blueberry farmer discovered his berries don't produce as much weight as those in Oxford because the spring comes earlier and the pollination rate is different.
But he has found another use for
the berries.
"When you squeeze the (berry) most of the antioxidant stays in the pomace, the skin," Ablett said.
They have produced an odourless, flavourless extract that is "whacked full of antioxidants."
It is now using the same process to test cranberries from a Lunenburg company.
With the health benefits of antioxidants well known, the product could be sold as a concentrated health drink or for other projects.
‰ Scientists and engineers are trying to find a way to get the biggest bang out of blueberry crops.
"Interestingly, there is more ... antioxidant material in the leaf than in the berry," Ablett said.
Fields are currently mowed and the material composted. A few years ago, Japanese were in Nova Scotia looking for 100 tons of dried blueberry leaves because they know of the benefits.
"How many acres of this do we have sitting out there that we could be turning into product?" Ablett asked. "We need a mower and a harvester with a bag on the back and somebody else is working on this on campus."
‰ A Scottish company has found a natural extract in the head of sunflowers that repels and kills mosquitoes and insects.
The centre signed an agreement and has grown the specific variety of sunflower here to see if the conditions are right for the product. The goal is to launch an anti-insecticidal natural product into the retail market.
It would look like a plastic dome with the extract hanging inside.

If everything goes according to plan shares would be sold through a Community Economic Development Investment fund to generate cash for each of the individual companies to market their product.

Organizations: Atlantic BioVenture Centre, North American, Neem Biotech

Geographic location: United Kingdom, Denmark, Oxford Lunenburg Nova Scotia

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