Parents There may soon be another option when feeding your babies, as the world’s first human ‘breast milk’ has been prepared in a lab.
Biomilk, a women-led start-up, has successfully made milk from human breast cells (female breast cells). The company says their milk is closest to the “macronutrient profile” of the real deal, with the same types of proteins, carbohydrates, fatty acids and bioactive lipids.
The product lacks antibodies directly into breast milk, but the company’s co-founder and chief science officer, Dr. Leela Strickland, told Forbes: “Even without antibodies, the nutritional and bioactive composition of our product would be much closer to that of breast milk than to bovine-based infant formula… Our product would support immune development, microbiome populations, intestinal maturation and brain development . That bovine-based infant formula fundamentally cannot be.”
He calls his product “the world’s first cell-cultured human milk outside the breast” and says it will be available for purchase within the next three years.
Strickland, a seasoned cell biologist, started the company because of her own experience in breastfeeding when her son was born early and was not latching on. She began growing breast cells in a lab in 2013 and, in collaboration with food scientist Michelle Egger, launched the start-up in 2019.
The founders say they do not aim to eliminate breastfeeding or spoil formula milk. Instead they just want to give mothers more nutritious and sustainable options.
“As a team that includes mothers and parents, we strongly believe that there is no one right way to care for a child, and each family should make the decision that is best for them,” a mission statement reads on their site.
“Baby food isn’t one size fits all. We’re offering more options to suit your lifestyle, if you choose to.”