Synthetic Milk is Coming, And It Could Shake Up Dairy Industry

The global dairy farming is a diverse and dynamic business. Among the disruptions is competition from food alternatives not produced by victimisation of animals – as well as potential challenges posed by artificial milk.

Synthetic Milk is Coming, And It Could Shake Up Dairy Industry
pc: gettyimages

Synthetic milk doesn't need cows or alternative animals. It will have the same biochemical make up as animal milk, but is grown using an emerging biotechnology technique recognized as "precision fermentation" that produces biomass from cells.

More than 80 % of the world's population frequently consume dairy farm products. There are increasing calls to maneuver on the far side animal-based food systems to a lot of property sorts of food production.

Synthetic milk supplies dairy milk while not taking into account the considerations like methane series emissions or animal welfare. However it should overcome several challenges and pitfalls to become a good, and viable alternate to animal-based milk.

Not a sci-fi fantasy

My recent analysis examined megatrends within the world dairy farm sector. Plant-based milks and, doubtless, artificial milks, emerged as a key disruption.

Unlike artificial meat – which might struggle to match the complexness and texture of animal meat – artificial milk is touted as having constant style, look, and feel as traditional dairy farm milk.

Synthetic milk isn't a sci-fi fantasy; it already exists. In the US, as an example, the right Day company provides animal-free milk made up of microflora, that is then used to make frozen dessert, protein powder, and milk.

In Australia, start-up company Eden Brew has been developing artificial milk at Werribee in Victoria. The corporate sector is targeting those customers who are more concerned about temperature change and, especially, towards the contribution of methane series from dairy farm cows.

CSIRO reportedly developed the technology behind the Eden Brew product. The method starts with yeast and uses "precision fermentation" to provide constant proteins found in cow milk.

CSIRO says these proteins provide milk several of its key properties and contribute to its creamy texture and frothing ability. Minerals, sugars, fats, and flavors also added to make the ultimate product.

Towards a brand new food system?

Also in Australia, the All GFoods company this month raised AU$25 million to accelerate production of its artificial milk. Within seven years, the corporate company aims to make its artificial milk cheaper than cow milk.

If the artificial milk business can do this price aim across the board, the potential to disrupt the dairy farm business is high. It might steer humanity additional faraway from ancient animal agriculture towards radically completely different food systems.

A 2019 report into the longer term of dairy farm found that by 2030, the US exactitude fermentation business can produce a minimum of 700,000 jobs.

And if artificial tin can replace dairy farm as associate ingredient within the industrial food process sector, this might gift important challenges for firms that turn out milk for the ingredient market.

Some traditional dairy farm firms are jumping on the bandwagon.

For example, Australian dairy farm co-operative Norco is backing the Eden Brew project, and New Sjaelland dairy farm cooperative Fonterra last week declared a venture to develop and commercialize "fermentation-derived proteins with dairy-like properties".

Synthetic milk: The way forward?

The artificial milk business should grow exponentially before it becomes a large threat to animal-based dairy farm milk. It requires loads of capital and investment in analysis and development, likewise as new producing infrastructure like fermentation tanks and bioreactors.

Production of conventional animal-milk in the Global South now outstrips that of the Global North, largely due to rapid growth across Asia. Certainly, the traditional dairy industry is not going away any time soon.

And synthetic milk is not a panacea. While the technology has huge potential for environmental and animal welfare gains, it comes with challenges and potential downsides.

For example, alternative proteins do not necessarily challenge the corporatization or homogenization of conventional industrial agriculture. This means big synthetic milk producers might push out low-tech or small-scale dairy – and alternative dairy – systems.

Artificial milk might displace many people from the world dairy farm sector.  If traditional dairy co-ops in Australia and New Zealand are moving into synthetic milk, for example, where does this leave dairy farmers?

As artificial milk gains ground in coming back years, we must guard against replicating existing inequities in the current food system.

And the ancient dairy farm sector must acknowledge it's on the cusp of critical change. In the face of multiple threats, it should maximize the social benefits of both animal-based dairy and minimize its contribution to climate change.


Milena Bojovic, PhD Candidate, Macquarie University

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Post a Comment

Last Article Next Article