Scientists replicating milk’s nutritional profile to produce synthetic milk was the biggest threat to the dairy industry, a world dairy expert has warned.
Global Dairy Platform executive director Donald Moore told a symposium in Sydney that synthetic milk would be a far greater challenge to producers than the cross-generational movement to replace animal-sourced foods with plant-sourced foods.
There is already a vegan-inspired lab in California that works around the clock trying to replicate milk products from synthetic sources.
One scientific method used in US labs is to make milk by adding cow DNA to yeast cells, which scientists then harvest and mix with other dairy components including calcium and potassium.
Mr Moore is in charge of a five-person team in Chicago, USA, promoting the goodness of milk and increasing the power of the industry around the world. Despite the threat from synthetic sources, dairy products had big potential to grow in many parts of the world as middle class wealth grew in Asia and Africa.
Dairy Connect said Mr Moore had spent the past 17 years in dairy, 10 years of which were servicing international markets at a senior management level working for Fonterra out of New Zealand.
Mr Moore told a Dairy Connect producer workshop that with a world population of 7.5 billion in 2017, dairy “supported” around one billion people internationally.
“Around the world, six billion people were regular milk and dairy product consumers,” he said.
“Of the approximate one billion people supported by the industry, 600 million lived on dairy farms and 400 million worked in industry support. “A total of 240 million were employed full-time in dairy jobs. And, a magnificent total of 37 million women ran dairy farms.”
He said global opportunities for dairy were opening up in Africa and parts of Asia with developing middle classes.
“There are a number of rapidly developing mega-cities in Africa with burgeoning numbers joining the middle class,” he said.