Raw milk has long been a hot-button issue in dairying. Pasteurization, many say, changes the flavor and removes nutrients from the milk, but it provides a more guarantee-able bacteria and contaminant-free product. Since, all contaminants equal, raw milk is generally regarded as the more desirable option, dairies frequently seek ways around laws restricting its sale.
An Australian milk company may have found the solution. Modern Farmer reports that Made by Cow, rather than pasteurizing or going straight to market with fresh milk, has spent the last two years perfecting a cold press process to eliminate harmful bacteria and “inactivate the nasties in the milk” while preserving the good bacteria that contribute to terroir and flavor.
The company, which has partnered with two third-generation dairy farmers, takes care to keep the milk production process clean from beginning to end to reduce the risk for contamination along the way. The cows—each of whom is known by name, according to Made by Cow’s website—graze on Australia’s South Coast, and their activity and sleep patterns are tracked carefully. The milking process and all its moving parts—from udders to equipment—are also kept clean.
Finally—and this is what makes Made by Cow unique—the milk is cold pressed. Sealed bottles of milk are placed under extreme water pressure, which is equivalent to “taking the milk six times deeper than the deepest part of the ocean.” Such high levels of pressure are thought to remove harmful bacteria from the milk while leaving more of its nutrients and natural flavors intact than heat treatment.
Despite some pro-pasteurization critics, co-founder Adam Cornell is adamant that his process is as safe as or safer than heating the milk to eliminate bacteria. “We were in touch with [the New South Wales Food Authority, the Australian equivalent of the FDA] from the beginning,” he says. “Proving the science was difficult, but in the end it led to a patented method that met or exceeded the results obtained from heat pasteurization.”
Though Made by Cows milk is currently only sold throughout Australia, Cornell has plans to meet with FDA officials in the US in the coming months. Here’s hoping that we can soon share in the (nearly) raw milk goodness, and this milk can find its way into cheesemaking!
You can check out Made by Cow’s animated video loosely explaining the whole process in a charming Australian accent below:
Feature Photo Credit: Made by Cow