• Urease and Nitrification Inhibitors—As Mitigation Tools for Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Sustainable Dairy Systems: A Review

      Byrne, Maria P.; Tobin, John T.; Forrestal, Patrick J.; Danaher, Martin; Nkwonta, Chikere; Richards, Karl; Cummins, Enda; Hogan, Sean A.; O'Callaghan, Tom; Department of Agriculture Food and the Marine; et al. (MDPI AG, 2020-07-27)
      Currently, nitrogen fertilizers are utilized to meet 48% of the total global food demand. The demand for nitrogen fertilizers is expected to grow as global populations continue to rise. The use of nitrogen fertilizers is associated with many negative environmental impacts and is a key source of greenhouse and harmful gas emissions. In recent years, urease and nitrification inhibitors have emerged as mitigation tools that are presently utilized in agriculture to prevent nitrogen losses and reduce greenhouse and harmful gas emissions that are associated with the use of nitrogen-based fertilizers. Both classes of inhibitor work by different mechanisms and have different physiochemical properties. Consequently, each class must be evaluated on its own merits. Although there are many benefits associated with the use of these inhibitors, little is known about their potential to enter the food chain, an event that may pose challenges to food safety. This phenomenon was highlighted when the nitrification inhibitor dicyandiamide was found as a residual contaminant in milk products in 2013. This comprehensive review aims to discuss the uses of inhibitor technologies in agriculture and their possible impacts on dairy product safety and quality, highlighting areas of concern with regards to the introduction of these inhibitor technologies into the dairy supply chain. Furthermore, this review discusses the benefits and challenges of inhibitor usage with a focus on EU regulations, as well as associated health concerns, chemical behavior, and analytical detection methods for these compounds within milk and environmental matrices.