Startup grows human breast milk in a lab in world first
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Article content Breast milk has joined the ranks of cultured chicken nuggets, lab grown lamb chops and cell based steak. North Carolina replica ladies hermes belt
based startup BIOMILQ recently announced that it has mimicked the production of human milk outside of the breast by culturing mammary cells in a lab.
According to its website, BIOMILQ’s goal isn’t to replace breastfeeding, but to provide parents with an alternative to baby formula.
“I told anyone who would talk to me about BIOMILQ that I was doing this for mothers and babies,” biologist Leila Strickland, co founder and CSO, said in a statement. “Informed by my personal experience with breastfeeding failure and by a relentless hunch about the biology of milk biosynthesis, I believed that if someone would just give me a chance to do this thing, it might actually work.”
Pediatricians often utter the phrase “breast is best” and for good reason.
Article content Breastfeeding rates have increased, according to Health Canada: 89 per cent of babies are breastfed and more than half of mothers who breastfeed continue to do so beyond six months. Of the Canadian mothers who stop before six months, the most common reasons are either because they’re not producing enough milk or are having difficulty with technique.
Formula can help parents fill the void so much so that the global market is expected to reach $133 billion by 2026. It lacks the complexity and immunity boosting qualities of breast milk, however, and its production relies on cow’s milk and often palm oil, both of which contribute to formula’s carbon and water footprint.
Article content “We’re probably about a year from a whole human milk product that could go into market,” Michelle Egger, co founder and CEO of BIOMILQ, told FoodNavigator USA, “but we have a heck of a lot of regulatory work ahead of us before that point.”
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Article content Egger and Strickland announced that the macronutrients present in BIOMILQ’s product proteins, complex carbohydrates, fatty acids and other bioactive lipids closely match those in breast milk, but with the usefulness of formula.