Mylkcubator is the first startup incubator for laboratory milk production

Mylkcubator is the first startup incubator for laboratory milk production

Launched by the Spanish dairy company Pascual, it aims to support technologies for growing milk and dairy products in the laboratory, just like with meat

(Photo: Pexels) If we can create meat in the laboratory, why do not do the same with milk? Pascual, one of Spain's leading dairy and beverage companies, wondered. And, in response, it launched Mylkcubator, the first global incubator to develop cellular agriculture technologies in the dairy sector. The aim of the program is to select and support the most innovative startups engaged in research on artificial milk and cheeses.

Just like that of meat, the production of milk and related products also has a rather heavy impact on the environment. A mozzarella certainly has a lower climatic footprint than a steak (leaving aside the fact that no animal is killed to obtain it), but milked cows pollute, especially by producing methane, as much as those that end up in the slaughterhouse. Hence the challenge of obtaining sustainable milk in the laboratory, just like with chicken and meat. Beating two paths: precision fermentation and cell cultivation.

"The goal is to identify those startups that can create cell-based milk with at least the same nutritional value as traditional milk, if not higher," he explained Sejal Ravji, director of Pascual Innoventures, at FoodIngredientsFirst. "Several components of the milk are lost during pasteurization: the new processes could help recover these nutrients." The biggest limit at the moment is the economic one, Ravji continues. Initiatives such as Mylkcubator could help food-tech startups produce industrial volumes, making them economically competitive. The selection, which takes place globally, is open until June 20.

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