Milking

Background

60-day fresh milk to hit supermarket shelves soon

Australian company Naturo, that has invented a process to keep natural milk fresh for 60 days, expects its milk to be sold in supermarkets in March this year.

Founder Jeff Hastings of Naturo is finalising validation work with the state regulator to make sure the milk is safe for human consumption. “That process will be completed around end of February and after that we‘ll be in the market to our own business partners around Queensland with commercial milk,” Hastings said.

Founder Jeff Hasting of Naturo: "We hope to provide a better return for dairy farmers." Photo: Naturo
Founder Jeff Hasting of Naturo: "We hope to provide a better return for dairy farmers." Photo: Naturo

The Australian federal government recently has given Naturo an AUS $ 1 million grant. The company plans to use the funding to complete work at a pilot plant in Queensland, where the first batches of milk will be created. Some of the funding will be used for a full-scale facility to be built in Tasmania.

Australian minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews emphasised that the government funding will help Naturo to commercialise a world-leading innovation. “The product will certainly support growth in the domestic market, but also in international markets for fresh milk,” she said. “There are many countries that have limited access to fresh milk.”

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Export to Asia

Minister Andrews said that selling milk that has a 60-day life is going to be a ‘great support’ to people in remote communities in Australia as well. “People who live on their own and have very limited milk supplies. So they‘re not having to tip out half of their milk after a week or so. There is a real opportunity. We saw the commercialisation prospects of this.”

Naturo says the new process kills more pathogens than pasteurisation and is safer. Photo: Naturo
Naturo says the new process kills more pathogens than pasteurisation and is safer. Photo: Naturo

The milk will be sold in Queensland first. Eventually the company intends to export its milk to countries in Asia. With 60 days of fresh shelf life, Naturo’s milk could be easily exported by ship to countries in Asia.

Naturo’s process does not require additives or preservatives and retains the milk’s original nutritional value. Hastings described the process as a ‘breakthrough’. Although he has not fully detailed what the patented technology entails, he has explained that Naturo uses a multi-step process that is not relying on heat – like pasteurisation does – to keep natural milk fresh.

Naturo’s milk retains higher levels of vitamins B2 and B12, essential vitamins for children and fully retains enzymes, critical for liver function and bone development, that otherwise would be destroyed by pasteurisation. “And it tastes like its straight from the cow,” according to the company.

We hope to provide a better return for dairy farmers and also allow them to access a well-posed technology, and through that, export markets”

Beneficial to dairy farmers

Founder Hastings said that it took 6 years to reach the finalising of the validation work. “It has been a long journey,” he said. “We hope to provide a better return for dairy farmers and also allow them to access a well-posed technology, and through that, export markets,” Hastings said.

Naturo has said it will source its milk out of the Mary Valley in Queensland. The company will start with a pilot plant in Coolum at the Sunshine Coast. “It is a very small plant,” Hastings explained. “A pilot factory. At stage 2, middle of this year we hope, will be the production of a much larger facility, and that will make a much more significant impact at farmgate.”

The innovation has been independently tested and validated by industry regulator Dairy Food Safety Victoria. This organisation has approved the process as healthy and safe.