Jun 2, 2017 | By Tess

Over the last couple of days, New Zealand’s media has freaked out, for lack of a better term, over the risk posed by 3D printed milk. A recent statement by New Zealand First Leader and Northland MP Rt Hon Winston Peters seeks to assuage these concerns.

“You can’t beat the real thing,” reassured Peters, after reports of a 3D printed synthetic milk being commercialized within the year came up on a radio program. New Zealand’s dairy industry accounts for roughly 25% of its total merchandise export earnings, so the concern about a 3D printed synthetic are understandable.

What ruffled the NZ dairy industry’s feathers? Well, it started on NewsTalk ZB, where Graeme Muller, the head of NZ Tech was being interviewed. When probed about advancing New Zealand’s key industries with technology, Muller responded with the example of 3D printed milk, a product which is being developed by a Silicon Valley startup called Perfect Day Foods.

Perfect Day Foods, which was founded by two biomedical students, is in the process of developing a synthetic milk that is made up of 3D bioprinted proteins. Not strictly “3D printed milk,” the liquid substance is created by manipulating a strain of yeast using a printed substance containing bovine DNA, which enable the yeast to produce casein, the protein found in milk. The protein substance is then mixed with corn sugar and some other ingredients and left to ferment until a milk-like drink is made.

Muller, in saying that the synthetic milk was going to be commercialized within the next year and that New Zealand needed to catch up, certainly raised some alarm within the local dairy industry.

Since the radio broadcast, a number of news programs invited dairy farmers to speak with them about the threat of 3D printed milk, and while it certainly is cause for concern (as most disruptive technologies are), the industry intends to take it in stride.

Federated Farmers Dairy Sector Chair Andrew Hoggard spoke to a local news program and acknowledged that synthetic milk, when commercialized, could compete with traditionally farmed cows milk. He also said that the challenge is an opportunity for dairy farmers to step up their offering by improving certain factors such as environmental impact and animal welfare.

The most official call has come from New Zealand First Leader and Northland MP Rt Hon Winston Peters, who stated the following:

“To quote a rather famous slogan: ‘you can’t beat the real thing.’ Not that it hasn’t stopped some more excitable members of the commentariat from latching onto ‘3D printed milk’ as a sign of dairying’s impending apocalypse. What is a threat, however, is if we allow these synthetics to hijack the name ‘milk’ and names associated with meat we are seeing from artificial meat proteins.”

“Regulators in the European Union and now the United States have woken up to this threat and it’s about time we did as well. New Zealand First will protect the integrity of what comes from the land and sea,” he added.

In New Zealand and abroad, 3D printed milk seems to be on its way. The question is, will you drink it?

 

 

Posted in 3D Printing Application

 

 

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Petra Jones wrote at 6/28/2017 11:33:36 PM:

I stopped drinking milk in the last nine months because of the animal cruelty in the dairy industry and I know many others that have done the same. You need to lift your game in this respect. People are looking for alternatives because they don't want to be a part of it.

Petra Jones wrote at 6/28/2017 11:30:34 PM:

I stopped drinking milk in the last nine months because of the animal cruelty in the dairy industry and I know many others that have done the same. You need to lift your game in this respect. People are looking for alternatives because they don't want to be a part of it.

mr.3dEd wrote at 6/12/2017 12:48:47 PM:

yeast and fermentation? this milk will give you allergic reactions.

Daryl wrote at 6/8/2017 2:26:27 AM:

Wonder if its made from the same stuff they use in China in their infant "milk" Melamine mixed with powdered Milk.

Stuart Landry wrote at 6/7/2017 9:08:19 AM:

There could be a place for this product , Perhaps on a mission to Mars ? But to call this product MILK is not telling the truth , I find think calling this new product MILK, is insult to all dairy farmers , The world needs more Farmers !

Andy wrote at 6/7/2017 6:27:47 AM:

The real questions are: Does it taste good? Does it keep? Can you froth it for a coffee, can you make ice-cream from it? Is it cheaper?

Eric wrote at 6/5/2017 1:52:12 AM:

Yet another attack on 3D printers by New Zealand. Sounds like they should be left in the 18th century where they want to be. Let them live in their pig sties.



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