Horseradish Down on the Farm – How Saucy

pig-swine-fluA mixture of horseradish and peroxide can (apparently) dampen swine farm odors.

According to news from the American Chemical Society, as cities expand, encroaching suburbanites are raising a stink about unpleasant odors emanating from neighbouring hog farms. But a simple, inexpensive concoction of horseradish root and hydrogen peroxide developed by Pennsylvania State University researchers could help deodorize swine and other animal manure, perhaps putting an end to a festering war of the noses.

“The problem of odors from farm manure has never been solved. Yet it is a problem that needs to be addressed given the strain it puts on the increasing number of people living nearby,” says Jerzy Dec, “Our new approach is a very simple method that doesn’t really take a lot of time, money or effort to do.”

In laboratory studies, Dec and his colleagues mixed horseradish root – purchased at a vegetable market – with hydrogen peroxide. Horseradish root contains large amounts of peroxidase, an enzyme that when combined with peroxide neutralizes phenols. Phenols are chemical compounds that are a common source of odors in manure.

A panel of six trained odor evaluators randomly sniffed treated and untreated manure samples. Overall, the panelists found the samples treated with the horseradish mixture had odors about 50 percent less intense than untreated ones. Chemical analysis indicated the deodorizing effects lasted for at least 72 hours.

In pilot-scale tests, the horseradish mixture effectively deodorized more than 50 gallons of hog manure, Dec says. Larger tests are planned.

I was going to say this has got to be hog wash…but then that’s exactly what it is!