Milk production minus the cow
A new company in the US plans to revolutionise the way milk is produced around the world, by removing the cow from the equation.
Muufri plans to produce milk in a lab from yeast and the end product is due to be on shelves within two years.
It says it the lab-produced ‘milk’ will be a product virtually indistinguishable from cows’ milk, because it will have the same proteins, fats, sugars, vitamins and minerals, it will also taste the same, according to Perumal Gandhi, co-founder of Californian research and development company Muufri.
“Our solution is to make real milk from the bottom up. It’s a fairly simple mixture: six key proteins for structure and function, eight key fatty acids for flavour and richness. In different ratios, these components give us cow’s milk, goat’s milk, or even buffalo milk – all suitable to become countless products, from toppings to cheeses to desserts.”
Using the same principles of biotechnology behind beer or vegetarian rennet, Muufri will make milk that tastes and functions just like animal-produced milk, but without the problems associated with industrial animal facilities.
Muufri also claims it will add new value to dairy, too. “Because we choose what goes into our product, we can choose to leave out lactose, which is at least partially indigestible by 75% of adults; and we can choose to leave out bad cholesterol for a much healthier product. And because our products are made with the same precision as medicines, they’ll be free of all bacteria – meaning a great-tasting milk with unprecedentedly long shelf life, no pasteurisation needed,” it noted.
The company has also received backing from Ireland, with former RTE Dragon’s Den investor Sean O’Sullivan investing in the company. In a recent interview he said: “We’re backing a company called Muufri. Imagine making better milk than exists today, without cows. It’s natural milk, replicated through natural processes, mainly using yeast and DNA replication, grown in a vat. It’s hugely cheaper than ordinary milk, without any issues related to shelf life or lactose intolerance.”