Breast milk, nature’s perfect infant food, is universally celebrated for its unmatched nutritional profile. It’s a powerhouse, providing infants with essential nutrients tailored for their first six months. Beyond nutrition, breast milk is a shield, rich in antibodies that combat viruses and bacteria during an infant’s vulnerable early stages. The benefits are vast, from reducing the risk of diseases like sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) to potentially boosting IQ scores.
The challenges of storing breast milk
However, the journey of breastfeeding isn’t without its challenges. For mothers who can’t always nurse, pumping and storing milk becomes essential.
Traditional freezing methods, while effective, have their drawbacks. Frozen milk can acquire an off-putting “freezer taste” and has a limited shelf life of 6-12 months. The logistics of using and transporting frozen milk are cumbersome, and it demands significant freezer space.
Plus, there is the ever-present threat of power outages, which can spell disaster for months of diligently stored milk.
Freeze-dried breast milk
Enter Milkify, the game-changer in the world of breast milk storage.
Berkley Luck, Ph.D., molecular biologist and co-founder of Milkify, shares the inspiration behind this innovation.
“The inspiration for Milkify originally started as a way of making a mother’s milk into her own ‘personal pre-biotic’ for her baby,” Luck said. “I was familiar with freeze-drying technology [that is] widely used in the probiotic industry. I knew freeze-drying was considered the best way to preserve foods, especially those with bioactive components, due to the gentle nature of the process. It was only after starting the company that we realized all of the other pain points that the service can help solve.”
The Milkify Process
Milkify’s pioneering service converts breast milk into freeze-dried powder. This process not only preserves the milk’s nutrients but also ensures it remains shelf-stable for a remarkable three years without refrigeration. The reconstituted milk is as simple as adding water, and it’s travel-friendly, taking up just 10% of the space of its frozen counterpart. And the “freezer taste”? A thing of the past.
As Berkley notes, “Over 90% of our clients with high lipase milk… tell us that they have no problems with the freeze-dried breast milk.”
The process behind Milkify’s service is rooted in science and safety.
“Freeze-drying is a process that removes the water from substances in a vacuum chamber under a deep freeze,” Berkley explains. “Milkify uses a ‘low and slow’ process that mimics the established research in terms of the highest levels of nutrient preservation.”
This commitment to quality is further underscored by their GMP certification, the first of its kind for freeze-drying human milk.
Berkley elaborates, “GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices) is a set of safety and quality standards promoted by the FDA… With our GMP certification, they know that an independent body reviewed those claims and verified them to be true.”
What the future holds
Looking ahead, the future is bright for Milkify.
“At the end of August we’ll be announcing a new product aimed at parents with large volumes of milk in their freezer,” Berkley reveals.
Expansion plans are also on the horizon, with partnerships set to bring Milkify’s SafeDry process to consumers globally, starting with Australia and the UK.
Berkley envisions Milkify playing a pivotal role in the breastfeeding community. “Breastfeeding is the best thing for a baby’s health, but it’s often very challenging for mothers to meet their breastfeeding goals… Milkify completely removes the storage and transportation barriers.” She passionately concludes, “As we grow and evolve, we will continue to be unapologetic advocates for breastfeeding and breastfeeding support.”
In essence, Milkify is not just a service; it’s a movement, championing the cause of breastfeeding mothers and ensuring that the golden nectar of breast milk is always within reach, in its purest form.