While pork producers have done much to address odors from hog facilities, there’s always interest in new options. A simple, inexpensive concoction appears to have surfaced. Pennsylvania State University researchers have found that a concoction of horseradish root and hydrogen peroxide could help deodorize swine and other animal manure.

The report appears in the June 29 issue of the American Chemical Society’s Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

“The problem of manure odors needs to be addressed given the strain it puts on the increasing number of people living nearby,” says Jerzy Dec, senior research associate and the study’s co-author. “Our new approach is a simple method that doesn’t take a lot of time, money or effort to do.”

Dec and his colleagues mixed horseradish root with hydrogen peroxide. Horseradish root contains large amounts of peroxidase, an enzyme that when combined with peroxide neutralizes phenols. Phenols are chemical compounds and a common source of manure odors.

Six trained odor evaluators randomly sniffed treated and untreated manure samples. They found the samples treated with the horseradish/peroxide mixture had about 50 percent less intense odor than untreated ones. Chemical analysis showed the deodorizing effects  lasted for at least 72 hours.

So far, the process has been tested in small batches (50 gallons of hog manure), but larger tests are planned.

Dec suspects the mixture will work well on other animal manure as well. Researchers also believe other plants with high sources of peroxidase such as potatoes, white-radish roots and soybean hulls could be used.