Its milk is sugar-free and tastes just like the real thing, according to its creators. Meet Daisy, the chocolate milk producing cow which took birth in the laboratory at the University of Bern in Switzerland last week.
“Switzerland is synonymous with fine chocolates and we are glad that we were able to achieve this biotechnology marvel in our country,” Dr. Lukas Lombardie, head of agricultural research and genetics at the University of Bern said in a press statement meant to be Daisy’s birth announcement.
Project chocolate milk, the so called genome coding project to create Daisy is sponsored by a consortium of candy-makers including Mars, Nestle, Ferrero, Cadbury Schweppes and Hershey Company with a total investment of USD 4.3 billion.
The scientists behind the research believe chocolate milk from herds of genetically modified cows could provide an alternative to the limitations posed by dwindling cocoa production because of crop diseases and erratic weather in major growing regions worldwide.
“The chocolate flavour is entirely due to a single polypeptide produced in the cocoa plant, “according to Dr.Lombardie. Grass mixed with cocoa beans imported from Africa where the world’s best quality cocoa is grown was fed to cows in the experiment.
“They seemed to love the stuff and the milk now has a good brown colour. We’re almost certain that commercial production of chocolate milk from these cows should become a reality by the end of 2012.” Dr. Lombardi says.
The flavoured milk market globally amounts to about USD 95 billion and is expected to be about 125 billion by 2020, according to research done in 2008 by Chocolate-lovers International, a lobby group for the Chocolate industry.