Muufri (animal-free milk)


I was reading the Mental Floss article that includes Soylent (10 Culinary Technologies Poised to Change the Way We Eat) but I was more intrigued by Muufri, who plan on making milk from yeast.

Would YOU drink a pint of man-made cows’ milk? Scientists are developing artificial beverage that could spell the end of dairies

The team believes producing the key components of milk in yeast culture will make it possible to provide consumers and food manufacturers with the same products they know and love, but through a more sustainable, healthy and humane process.

In The End of Food article @rob talked about Soylent-producing algae.

Eventually, Rhinehart hopes, he will figure out how to source all of Soylent’s ingredients that way—carbohydrates, protein, lipids. “Then we won’t need farms” to make Soylent, he said. Better yet, he added, would be to design a Soylent-producing “superorganism”: a single strain of alga that pumps out Soylent all day. Then we won’t need factories.

I don’t know how feasible that is, but this artificial milk makes it seem more real to me. Or at least it will when I can buy it at the grocery store!

Beef produced by cell culture

I’m sorry but to me milk comes exclusively from mammals. You can make a perfectly acceptable delicious and nutritious milk substitute but it won’t in fact be milk. Calling it milk is just a marketing ploy to get people to drink it. I would happily try Muufri if offered but I wouldn’t call it milk.


We were on a SXSW panel with Muufri. Here is the recording:

We have some big goals :smile:


I first heard about Muufrii several months ago. I like the idea. For one, some people are lactose intolerant and so they’re going to just leave out the lactose. Also, it won’t need refrigerated.

Drinking cows milk as we’ve done for a long time is a good idea in the absence of alternatives but if we can figure out a way to make basically if not exactly the same product but without the cow, why not? I mean, the point of drinking cows milk isn’t to drink the milk of a cow but rather to get good nutrition. If we can find a better way to get the good nutrition I say go for it.


If you don’t want to call it milk that’s fine; it appears to be an accurate name:

Pandya says milk is ideal for synthesizing, with less than 20 components, starting with around 87 percent water and including proteins, enzymes, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. The company’s bottom-up process, according to their website, will include six key proteins for structure and function, and eight key fatty acids for flavor and richness. But instead of using cashews and almonds to replicate the curdy backbone as some alternative cheese makers do, Muufri is bioengineering yeast to produce authentic milk proteins, which will give it the same taste and nutrition as regular milk.

It’s the product itself that is promising; the name is irrelevant except to marketing and public perception (so we can count on it being sold as “milk” if that is allowed). I can imagine a time where there is expensive “Milk (from Real Cows!)” on the shelf next to cheaper synthetic milk, kind of like organic foods today.


I would be very happy if they can make cow-free cheeses. I love cheese, but cattle aren’t ecologically sustainable on the scale we’re using them, so I’ve been trying really hard to cut way back.


I know there’s a lot of hyperbole these days, but I genuinely think this algae idea is world changing.


One of the big things Muufri said, was the amount of land and deforestation caused by raising cattle could be lessened with their product.


But this will put some food politics folk in a difficult position. It will be “artificial” and it will prevent dairy industry abuses. :slight_smile:

Me, I will wait for the actual product. If it provides the same benefits (I like milk but disapprove of how it’s mostly made), I think it could be a good thing.