Brewer's yeast used to make beer is typically discarded once it's no longer needed.  Sometimes, though, the leftover yeast is mixed into livestock feed as a source of protein and vitamins.  According to new research from ARS, there now may be even more reason to continue this practice.  Laboratory results suggest that using leftover brewer's yeast as a feed additive may benefit the environment by helping cows belch less methane into the air as a greenhouse gas that contributes to global climate change.

Although spent brewer's yeast is sometimes used as a livestock feed additive, further cow feeding trials are necessary to fully assess its potential to reduce methane and ammonia on a farm scale, according to the researchers.  Those results should give a better idea of the yeast's potential role as part of a larger, integrated approach to making animal agriculture more environmentally sustainable.

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