Lab-grown dairy could be on the rise, UVM researchers say

Published: Dec. 10, 2022 at 6:32 AM EST
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - Check your cabinets, and you may see a lot of products that contain milk. A doctoral student at UVM thinks that before long, a lot of that could come from a lab, not a cow.

We previously told you about the process of precision fermentation, something being studied by Unilever, Ben & Jerry’s parent company.

The process creates the proteins found in milk in a lab, rather than on a farm.

Irfan Tahir, a doctoral candidate at UVM who studies lab-grown food, says the science allows them to create a product that exactly mirrors real milk.

The science is still incredibly young, but he says it has massive potential.

Tahir says, “Buy ice cream that has whey protein that was created with precision fermentation, rather than was grown in an animal, so the speed with which it is growing, and the profits that the companies will start to see pretty soon.”

He adds, “I think in the future most of the milk products will come from precision fermentation.”

Tahir says currently one of the biggest challenges for the industry is scale. Companies will have to expand massively to meet market demands for both milk and meat.

He also says there is still a lot of research to do before this becomes widespread.

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