A new type of plant-based milk which tastes almost exactly like dairy could be a ‘game changer’, according to reports.
Consumers can currently pick from a range of alternatives to cow’s milk, from oat milk to rice, soya, or drinks made from a variety of nuts, all offering their own benefits.
And this selection of non-dairy milk could soon be expanded, with a new option that not only tastes like cow’s milk, but contains a notable amount of protein.
According to the University of Queensland’s Professor Mark Turner, a renowned expert in food microbiology, this new option is made from sugar cane.
A new option is set to be added to the wide range of plant-based milk available. Photo © tbralnina via Adobe Stock
Sugar cane milk
Professor Turner explained that sugar cane milk is derived from sugar cane and other by-products, which, after being put with other components through a precision fermentation process, produce a plant-based protein.
This protein, which is almost identical to those found in dairy, means the milk could be a good source of the macronutrient.
However, Professor Turner points out, the health benefits of the drink would depend on its particular final formulation.
The Queensland state government has provided a bursary of $528,000, to get the project up and running, with the government, Asia-Pacific fermentation company Cauldron, and Future Foods BioHub in Mackay working in collaboration to manufacture the product.
Sugar canes and by-products are used in the production of sugar cane milk. Photo © pipi via Adobe Stock
‘Adding to an industry’
Talking about the manufacture of the product, Cauldron chief executive Michele Stansfield said the new product was being developed as a complementary product.
She explained: “We’re not looking to replace the food chain, we’re just looking to complement or supplement it into the future.”
Adding that they wanted to create an ‘alternative value stream for the sugar industry’, she noted that protein ‘costs a lot more than sugar’.
“We’re hoping it will take some of the fluctuations out of [sugar] pricing and it will ensure the continued use of sugar going forward in a volatile nutritional market,” she said.
“We don’t want to be stealing from an industry. We want to be adding to an industry.”
There are so many alternatives to dairy milk – many of which you can make yourself! Here’s how to make your own pistachio milk, hemp milk and quinoa milk
Featured photo © samurai via Adobe Stock, edited by VFL