Scientists developing cow-free milk that tastes like the real thing

If you’re a vegan but can’t stand milk substitutes like soy, rice or coconut, then this man-made milk may be right for you.

Scientists at San Francisco-based biotech start-up Muufri -- (get it, moo free?) -- have developed a formula to re-create cow milk: six proteins for structure and function and eight fatty acids for flavor and richness, according to Muufri’s website.

The milk product is also free of lactose and cholesterol and because it’s created in a lab, its seen as a sustainable alternative to traditional dairy cattle operations.

According to Muufri, lactose is “partially indigestible by 75 percent of adults,” so the decision to leave it out creates a healthier product. Founders of Muufri, Ryan Pandya, Perumal Gandhi and Isha Datar, claim the milk will be free of all bacteria, giving their milk an “unprecedentedly long shelf life” with no pasteurization required.

With such a high percentage of the world’s population affected by lactose intolerance, Pandya, Gandhi and Datar predict that artificial milk will actually surpass consumption of animal-based products in 100 years.

No animals, no hormones, and no cholesterol may sound too good to be true but the makers claim milk is actually relatively simple to make, according the Daily Mail. Since the scientists are able to develop the product from scratch, taste can be adjusted to imitate the essence of true dairy milk.

Their product will be hitting the market in the next three years but will start producing the milk in sizeable batches by 2015.