Got synthetic milk? Scientists make dairy in a lab

Milk lab testing
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You could say one of the latest innovations in food science is udder-ly amazing.

The scientists at Muufri have bioengineered lab-grown cow's milk in attempt to address the environmental and ethical problems with dairy farming, trade magazine Modern Farmer reports. The milk is made by adding cow DNA to yeast cells, which the scientists then harvest and mix with other dairy components such as calcium and potassium.

The process of making milk in a lab is so smooth, the scientists told Modern Farmer, because milk has a simple chemical structure—it's a compound of six proteins and eight fatty acids. Manipulating the ratio of these components will allow the scientists to replicate other dairy products, from cheeses to goat's milk. Another possibility is creating lactose-free products, suitable for some people with lactose intolerance.

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Synthetic milk is a strong alternative to the real thing, the scientists said, because it's free of the concerns that come with dairy farming, including the potential for bacterial contamination and the purportedly inhumane treatment of farm animals. For now the scientists plan to roll the product out slowly, so they can ensure that it's good quality in order to compete with existing dairy alternatives like soy milk.

To learn more about this tasty development, click here.