A Swedish university has received $590,000 US in research funds to measure the greenhouse gases released when cows belch.

About 20 cows will participate in the project run by the Swedish University for Agricultural Sciences in Uppsala, about 65 kilometres north of Stockholm, officials said Monday.

Cattle release methane, a greenhouse gas believed to contribute to global warming, when they digest their food. Researchers believe the level of methane released depends on the type of food they eat.

Project leader Jan Bertilsson said that the cows involved in the study will have different diets and wear a collar device measuring the methane level in the air around them.

He said 95 per cent of the methane released by cows comes out of their mouths.

"This type of research is already being conducted in Canada so we will be in contact with Canadian agricultural researchers in the near future," he said.

The research will be funded by a grant from the government's Swedish Research Council for Environment, Agricultural Sciences and Spatial Planning.