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Ben Williams

Knowledge Transfer Senior Manager

AHDB Pork Knowledge Exchange


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Lauren Alanna Reid

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undefinedUnderstanding the role of nutrition when manipulating pig odour and ammonia emissions

Lauren Alanna Reid - Queens University Belfast and AFBI

Duration: January 2018 – January 2021

Alanna has always had an interest in agriculture and completed both her masters and undergraduate degrees in Biotechnology

Project Aims and objectives:


  • To identify the effect of diet on ammonia emissions and odour offensiveness from finishing pigs and assess how it is linked to the microbiota of the gut and slurry
  • To assess establish/update the ammonia emission factor for slatted pig housing


  • To determine the effect of different levels of fat, fibre and protein on performance, ammonia emissions and odour offensiveness of finishing pigs
  • To determine how the different levels of fat, fibre and protein affects the gut microbiota of finishing pigs
  • To determine if different levels of fat, fibre and protein affect the gene expression of microbiota in finishing pigs, the meat quality of finishing pigs and the microbiota profile of stored slurry from finishing pigs
  • To survey finishing pig producers in Northern Ireland to assess the variation in housing types in use
  • To update/establish an ammonia emission factor for slatted finishing pig housing

Potential benefits to industry:

Dietary manipulation may provide a much more cost effective solution to reducing ammonia and odour emissions since other abatement measures can be very expensive and their effectiveness varies. This type of abatement technique would contribute to sustainable farming and would allow the expansion of some farms due to the sector wide decrease in ammonia and odour emissions.  This project has the potential to reduce ammonia emissions and the impact of odour emissions on a local and national scale. 

For the feed industry, the know-how of producing feed which reduces ammonia and odour is a very valuable resource and will help these industries become preferred suppliers of feed. 

The completion of pork quality analysis within the project will be of major benefit to producers, processors, the consumer and AHDB since it will provide robust knowledge with regard to the meat and eating quality of modern pigs reared on commercial farms, potentially on diets which reduce pig odour.