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Food & Health : Agri. & Environ. Last Updated: Apr 20, 2011 - 9:38:09 AM

Cow discovered capable of producing low-fat milk
By Ben Wasserman
May 29, 2007 - 5:19:57 PM

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ViaLactica in New Zealand has discovered a cow that can naturally produce low fat milk, a finding that could lead the milk company to breed a first herd of dairy cows to produce low fat or skim milk in the world.


Normally, dairy cows produce milk with about 3.5 percent of fat.   But this cow named Marge selected from over a million and believed to have a natural or spontaneous mutation can produce milk with 1 percent fat only.


News media reported that Marge was discovered in 2001 and ViaLactica brought her for $218. Now the company wants to manipulate the genetic makeup in a herd to make the cows to produce milk with 0.1 percent fat, or skim milk.


ViaLactica's chief scientist Russell Snell was cited as saying that Marge's calves produce low-fat milk naturally. The company expects to produce low fat milk and spreadable butter by 2011.


The milk from Marge was said to have not only low saturated fat, but also high omega-3 fatty acids, which makes butter made of this milk fat spreadable at low temperatures like margarine.

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