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Questions and StoriesCategory: QuestionsIs There a Future for Lab Milk?
Shane Collins asked 3 weeks ago

Is There a Future for Lab Milk?

Being Vegan certainly has become somewhat of a trend but that is not the only reasons people stay away from dairy products. Sometimes apart from veganism people with Lactose intolerance and dairy allergies are also looking for other alternatives and not all plant based milks have a great taste.

I have been looking into Vegan foods and alternatives and found out about the production of lab milk and found it very interesting I want to tell you about it, how it is produced and the risks and benefits it holds for your overall health.

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What is lab milk?

We are all aware of already existing plant and nut based milks that are good forms of animal-free dairy like Soy milk and Almond milk but they are not always a great substitute of proteins. These products normally lack of the proteins- casein and whey.

The great news is that science has made it possible to replace these proteins synthetically in the lab also known as lab milk.

Lab milk is perfectly suited for the vegan life style choice, lactose intolerant individuals and may be a substitute for people that are allergic to dairy.

In a lot of ways lab milk resembles cow’s milk especially regarding the taste and texture but debate is underway about the nutrition value. The nutrition value of lab milk is already known to be higher in nutrition than other milk alternatives but the exact nutrition value is still unknown.

The production process of lab milk

Producing milk without animals sounds rather strange but it is becoming more popular and easier to do thanks to scientific advancements. Lab milk has a rather simple production structure and I would love to cover the basics of how lab milk is produced.

We normally rely on animals and or cow’s in this case to eat plants and turn them into proteins which is then later extracted within the milk they produce but with lab milk we do not need any animals to help get the finished product result.

Lab milk replaces and or replicates the above mentioned process with modified yeast used to produce the missing proteins casein and whey that are not found in all plant based milks.

The modified yeast will then get sugars added to and be left to ferment this is the process that will on a large scale produce the missing proteins (casein and whey).

Next would be the extraction and filtering process that is needed to separate the lab grown proteins that will become a protein powder.

After this has been done water, vitamins, minerals, plant based fats and lab grown proteins get mixed together to produce lab milk that has the same nutritional value as what cow’s milk should have.

All this leaves an important question is it healthy?

The problem with lab milk is that it’s a rather new discovery and it is not mass produced yet and it’s also not really known what nutrition value it has as it has not been mass produced yet. Furthermore obviously availability is still somewhat a problem.

Some cases recorded found that some people can’t cope with plant based fats and sugars very well and may cause health problems in the future.

The plan is to develop this milk as identically and or close to animal derived versions of dairy as possible.

Lab milk is just another form of milk alternative that has a higher nutritional value than already existing plant and nut based milks.

Furthermore lab milk is made with plant fats and sugars and there is no lactose in this form of milk making it very suitable for individuals suffering from lactose intolerance. However lab milk and cow’s milk have a lot of similarities and can still cause allergic reactions based on the characteristics that lab milk and cow’s milk share.

However if you are a vegan this milk should be perfect for you. The production process has many great environmental impacts and has a low carbon footprint. This form of milk also has a lot of ethical benefits to them and generally is just very well suited for vegans.

Here is a shorter list of the benefits and negatives:

The benefits:

  • The taste and texture of lab milk is similar to cow’s milk.
  • The nutrition value of lab milk is almost the same as cow’s milk.
  • Lab milk is well suited for vegans.
  • Lab milk is great for individuals suffering from lactose intolerance.
  • The manufacturing process is environment friendly.

The negatives:

  • Lab milk is not mass produced yet thus availability is a problem.
  • Like said above the nutritional value is still unknown.
  • May not be suitable for people with dairy allergies due to characteristics shared with cow’s milk.
  • Plant sugars may cause health problems in the future.
  • Because Lab milk is not mass produced yet the price- point is still unknown.

Now I guess it leaves me with the question is lab milk the future? It is really great for the environment and has more nutrition value than other plant and nut based milk alternatives however it is not risk free and the only worrying thing to me is the fact that plat based sugars are not always good for health other than that the negatives are more focused on the fact that it is not mass produced as of yet.

How do you feel about the production of lab milk? Do you think that in the future availability and or production of lab milk will be a success?

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