“CleanMilk” from in vitro grown milk cells

At present, new production concepts and solutions in relation to milk are being discussed in the light of the sustainability agenda. Production of milk constituents by single cells (bacteria, yeast cells) in a GMO context is one future scenario being considered, and where companies and research projects have been funded/initiated on the international scene. However, in relation to using cells as "production vehicles" for secretion of milk components, the use of mammary cells is superior in some aspects as they in principle possess the whole machinery in order to make milk proteins with the right decorations (e.g. for calcium binding) and fat constituents as they appear in cow’s milk. The present project will provide essential biological and dairy-related knowledge within this area.

By: Grith Mortensen

Initially, in vitro cultures of mammary epithelial cells will be produced, and secretions harvested. The in vitro produced milk will be compared to the composition of cow’s milk (fat, protein, etc.). Finally, the supramolecular organization and stability of in vitro produced enzymes, casein micelles, fat globules and other vesicles, like extracellular vesicles will be compared to cow’s milk.

The project will give the Danish dairy industry the possibility to gain knowledge into potential benefits of these secretions, their compositions and how they may differ from normal cow’s milk. This could pave the way for future exploitation of in vitro grown milk cells for producing constituents and valuable ingredients being part of future dairy products, such as infant formulas and ingredients.

Project period: September 2021 - September 2024

Budget: 4,328,040 DKK

Financing: Danish Dairy Research Foundation, Aarhus University and The Danish Agricultural Agency

Project manager: Lotte Bach Larsen

Institution: Department of Food Science, Aarhus University

Participants: Department of Food Science and Department of Animal Science, Aarhus University


Publications and presentations

Initial article published in Mælkeritidende:

Mælkeritidende 2022 No. 9


The results originating from the project will be published on this page when they become publicly available.

Grith Mælk 1

Grith Mortensen

Chefkonsulent, Branchesekretariat mejeri, Landbrug & Fødevarer/Skejby

Mobil: 40964114

E-mail: gmo@lf.dk