1.2 liters
of milk/cow/day

The use of Solvay’s Bicar®Z, in comparison to lithothamnium, showed an improvement in daily milk production of 1.2 liters per cow, a 27% increase in fat content, and a daily increase in Energy-Corrected Milk (ECM) of 5,8 liters per cow.


Brussels, November 23, 2020 - 7:00 CET/CEST

A trial performed on 250 milking cows in a dairy farm in the Basque Country, Spain showed that the use of Bicar®Z, a feed material for livestock that improves their well-being, led to significantly improved daily milk production with increased fat content compared to the use of lithothamnium. 

The trial was performed in spring 2020 by Pr. Baucells J. and Espadamala A. to evaluate the effect of the two different dietary buffers (Bicar®Z and a lithothamnium based product) on the milk production and quality variables.

Specifically, it showed the use of Solvay’s Bicar®Z resulted in an improvement in daily milk production of 1.2 liters per cow, a 27% increase in fat content, and a daily increase in Energy-Corrected Milk (ECM), the technical measurement to evaluate the quality of the milk produced, of 5,8 liters per cow.

Context and methodology 

  • Sample: The test was carried out in a dairy farm in the Basque Country (Spain) with 250 Friesian milking cows
  • Diet: The cows were given a diet of unique isoenergetic and isoprotein total mixed ration (TMR)  
  • Time: The trial was performed from March to July 2020 during temperate weather, without remarkable variations. The study was divided in 3 periods of six weeks each.
  • Methodology: 1% DM of Bicar®Z was integrated during the first and third periods, while 0,5% DM of a lithothamnium based product was added during the second period (without Bicar®Z). The amounts of lithothamnium to be included vs Bicar®Z are those recommended by the manufacturer and used in normal practices.

In the first period, with the supplementation of 1% of Bicar®Z, an increase in milk production of 39.33 l/cow/day, in fat content of 3.52% and in ECM of 40.10 l/cow/day was obtained.

During the second period, corresponding to the use of lithothamnium, the milk production decreased by 1.2 liters per cow per day, the fat content was reduced by more than 21% (from 3,52% to 2,77%) and energy-corrected milk (ECM) decreased by 5,8 liters per cow per day. This generated a significant economic impact on the farm's business and suggests an increased risk of SARA (subclinical acidosis) for the herd.

Three weeks after the beginning of Period 2 the farmers asked the researchers to move directly to Period 3 and reintroduce Bicar®Z.

When Bicar®Z was reintroduced, the milk fat content, production levels, and ECM changed the trend to normalize to period 1 levels. The full results can be seen the chart below: 

Study results details



Period 1

Period 2

Period 3



Lithothamnium based product


Production , liters cow/day




Energy Corrected Milk (ECM)




Fat, %




Protein, %




Bicar®Z is a simple and effective sodium bicarbonate participating in the improvement of productivity and well-being of livestock. With 40 years of research and experimentation, Bicar®Z continues to be a reliable raw material for breeders, nutritionists and veterinarians. Bicar®Z is a brand developed by Solvay. Know more: www.bicarz.com


About Solvay 

Solvay is a science company whose technologies bring benefits to many aspects of daily life. With more than 24,100 employees in 64 countries, Solvay bonds people, ideas and elements to reinvent progress. The Group seeks to create sustainable shared value for all, notably through its Solvay One Planet plan crafted around three pillars: protecting the climate, preserving resources and fostering  better life. The Group’s innovative solutions contribute to safer, cleaner, and more sustainable products found in homes, food and consumer goods, planes, cars, batteries, smart devices, health care applications, water and air purification systems. Founded in 1863, Solvay today ranks among the world’s top three companies for the vast majority of its activities and delivered net sales of €10.2 billion in 2019. Solvay is listed on Euronext Brussels (SOLB) and Paris and in the United States, where its shares (SOLVY) are traded through a Level I ADR program. Learn more at www.solvay.com.