Truly Irish, the farmer-owned breakfast meat company, has joined forces with research groups in an attempt to produce healthier pigs.
The €1.7m project aims to begin trials feeding a seaweed extract, laminaria, to pigs to harness some of the seaweed's proven health benefits.
It is hoped the two-year trial will uncover new ways for farmers to produce meat that will be able to make health claims similar to that of other functional foods such as Flora Proactiv.
Truly Irish hope that by boosting the natural immunity of the pig, this can be passed on to humans by eating the pigmeat. In turn, this would help to reduce humans' dependency on antibiotics.
If the trials are successful, Truly Irish will have the exclusivity to use this natural ingredient in feedstuffs for their pigs.