Now skim milk straight from the cow !

Skim milk may one day come straight from the udder with
New Zealand scientists working to develop a dairy herd
that naturally produces low-fat milk, reports said.

Scientists from ViaLactia, a biotechnology offshoot of giant
dairy cooperative Fonterra, found a cow in 2001 which
naturally produced low-fat milk. They have since
successfully bred calves from the cow they affectionately
named Marge that also produce skim milk.

But Fonterra sustainable milk growth general manager
Mark Leslie told the New Zealand Herald that it could take
at least five years until there was a herd big enough to
produce the milk commercially.

ViaLactia chief scientist Russell Snell said Marge was
discovered during a routine screening of dairy cows. The
low-fat gene has also emerged in some of her calves,
opening the possibility of developing low-fat herds.

"When we found her daughters had the gene, that was the
eureka moment, but the true holy grail will be to produce a
sire with the gene," Snell was reported saying in the
Dominion Post newspaper.

Skim milk contains up to 05 per cent fat compared to about
3.3 per cent for ordinary homogenised milk. Marge and her
daughters are being kept in a secret location, where they
produce milk with a fat content of about 1.0 per cent.
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