Bark Foto Olaf Østbø (Photo: Olaf Østbø. NIBIO)
(Photo: Olaf Østbø. NIBIO)

BarkCure: Condensed tannins from Norwegian pine and spruce bark - antiparasitic effects and potential commercial exploitation.

The overall aim is to assess the potential of condensed tannins (CT) from Norwegian coniferous bark, a sawmill by product, as a feed additive against gastrointestinal parasites in ruminants.

This will be achieved with a series of sub-goals, where we will:

  • Screen bark CT extracts from Norwegian spruce and pine from various seasons and locations for their biological (antiparasitic) activity
  • Characterize the chemical composition of CTs with varying bioactivity to elucidate the structure-activity relationships
  • Evaluate the processing methods used for debarking and their impact on the quality of the bark as a feedstock for extraction of CTs
  • Develop a scale-able, environmentally sound, process for extraction of CTs
  • Verify the antiparasitic activity in ruminants
  • Evaluate the value-chain of bark production, potential production volumes and further R&D needs for a future commercialization of CT-production 

Condensed tannins (CT) are regarded as anti-nutrients as they may reduce feed intake, nutrient digestion and production in livestock. However, the inclusion of small amounts of CT in the diet of ruminants may decrease problems with gastrointestinal parasites. Tannin containing forages are not well adapted to Norwegian cultivation conditions, but Norway has a strong forest industry and bark harvested from conifer species may have high content of CT.

In the proposed project we will: 1) evaluate bark as it is produced today with regard to its utilization in industrial processing of CT; 2) characterize CT quality and quantity in bark resources and their structure-activity relationships; 3) test the biological activity of bark CT against helminths and parasitic protozoa both in vitro and in vivo in ruminants 4) develop industrial extraction and processing of bark CT. Dissemination of knowledge gains is ensured by integrated activities. The project draws on the coordinated interaction of national and international players in research and enterprises:

Project details (1)

Project owner:Norwegian Centre for Organic Agriculture
Project coordinator: Håvard Steinshamn, NIBIO
Project staff NORSØK:Kristin Sørheim and Berit Blomstrand
Project partners: NIBIO, SINTEF, Norwegian Institute of Wood Technology, Veterinærinstituttet, Scotland’s Rural College, University of Copenhagen., Bergene Holm AS , Norske Skog Saugbrugs AS, FK Fôrutvikling BA , Animalia, Norges Bondelag and Norsk sau og geit participate in the Stakeholder advisory group
Funding:The Reasearch Council of Norway, BIONÆR
Project period: