First cold-pressed cow's milk on sale in Australia
Cow's milk is routinely pasteurised and homogenised to make it safe and consistent. Believing this eliminates much of its goodness and flavour, as well as trying to find some market differentiation, Australian outfit, Made by Cow, has invested in a new cold press method that makes raw milk safe to drink.
When milk is fresh from a cow, it is typically far richer than what is purchased in stores. If left to settle, it develops a layer of cream on top and contains vitamins like A, B1, B2, B12, and potassium.
The homogenisation process breaks down the cream to create a more liquefied consistency throughout, while pasteurisation heats the milk to eliminate harmful bacteria, but can also reduce the nutrient content of the final product (although there is some debate about this).
Made by Cow (MBC) says its alternative cold-pressure/high-pressure processing approach is a world first, with the milk going from cow to bottle within a matter of hours.
The company explains that it is then put under intense "isostatic cold water pressure". Here, cold water is used to compress both the bottle, which is plastic so as to flex, and the milk inside.
The exact "pressure and time recipe" is subject to a patent application, so details are scant. The firm has revealed that the bottle and milk are compressed by around 15 percent for several minutes, using large pumps to generate pressure equally from all sides.
MBC reports that "bacteria can't withstand the pressure we subject them to" and so are eliminated, while the cold temperature of the water reportedly ensures that the process is gentler on the milk's nutritional profile.
MBC claims that the resulting produce is creamier and more vitamin-rich than conventionally processed milk and that it will actually last slightly longer, too, though specifics are not yet available.
The firm is currently running tests and notes that early results appear to confirm that its cold-pressed milk has a vitamin profile closer to raw milk than does pasteurised milk. Data will be published online when testing has been completed.
The Food Authority of New South Wales has approved Made by Cow's cold pressure method as being as safe. Thereports that while the product is labelled "cold-pressed raw milk", the NSW Food Authority says it doesn't recognise it as raw milk because it has undergone "high pressure processing" to eliminate pathogens.
It worked with Made by Cow for more than a year to ensure the product was safe and suitable for human consumption.
"Any claims that may be perceived as promoting raw milk consumption would be investigated as the NSW government has taken a very firm stance against the sale of unpasteurised milk for human consumption," a Food Authority's spokeswoman said.
Professor Peter Collignon, a leading Australian infectious disease physician and microbiologist, said he was concerned about the lack of research showing the efficacy of cold pressure.
"I do worry this is a marketing exercise for raw milk but without the science to show the process is anywhere near as good as pasteurisation," he said.
"The [data and research] that shows [cold-pressure is just as good as pasteurisation] needs to be robust and available for all to see, including the public, and needs independent verification."
The milk first went into Australian stores earlier this month.
The video below explains the cold-pressing process, and