Silicon Valley-based biotech startup Muufri (pronounced “moo free”), are creating a genetically engineered yeast that will produce an alternative to cow made dairy milk. Muufri was founded in 2014. Perumal Gandhi one of the founders of the milk recently spoke about the artificial milk due to hit shelves in 2015.
Milk is essentially made up of 20 components. Its about 87 percent water and the rest is a mixture of enzymes, proteins fats, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. Muufri will use proteins for structure and function, and fatty acids to add flavor and depth. For the curd like base, Muufri is bioengineering a yeast to produce authentic milk proteins which will give it the same taste and nutrition of regular milk. In other types of non-animal milks this is typically achieved with nuts.
In 2050 there will be a lot more people on the planet, about 2 billion more than now. Whats nice to think about, besides the idea the worlds population can stay fed, is that there’s also the limiting of all the not so nice stuff that happens to cattle on large factory farms. Perumal is a vegan and believes that the treatment of livestock is inhumane. The artificial milk and reduction in cattle farms, could in turn Perumal believes, see a reduction in green house gas emissions.
“Making an entire cow to make just the milk is inefficient,” Perumal says. “You’re giving it all this feed and water, and most of it goes towards growing legs, growing a head, growing a liver and lungs—just living.”