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What Is Breast Milk Ice Cream?

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  • Written By: Britt Archer
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 31 August 2016
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    Conjecture Corporation
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Adventurous eaters looking for something different scooped up a new product in a London shop in 2011: breast milk ice cream. The product is a sweet frozen concoction, similar to traditional ice cream, but instead of cow’s milk it contains human breast milk. Some customers loved the breast milk ice cream, some hated it and some were intrigued. Officials, however, were neither amused nor intrigued, and they removed it from the ice cream parlor’s shelves, citing health concerns.

Human breast milk can transmit certain diseases, including hepatitis. The ice cream store owner who conceived of the new product claimed the breast milk ice cream is safe for consumption because the same safety procedures were followed as when blood is donated to such institutions as hospitals and the Red Cross. The shop paid more than a dozen women for their breast milk. A British newspaper critic said the initial taste is similar to regular ice cream, but she experienced an aftertaste that she found unpleasant.

The breast milk ice cream was a novelty and drew many customers, and the shelves were empty in a matter of days, but not everyone was convinced of its safety. Agencies that oversee health and food safety said human breast milk can transmit some drugs the mother has consumed, as well as the HIV virus and other infectious diseases. Other concerns focused on proper handling. As with other kinds of milk, human breast milk needs proper storage to avoid contamination.

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The new ice cream isn’t the first new use that someone has come up with for human breast milk. Other entrepreneurs have developed breast milk soap, breast milk cheese and breast milk soups. Some people have experimented with breast milk yogurts and breads. Some of the manufacturers have said they would rather use the milk productively than have it go bad in storage or throw out milk that had been heated for a child to drink but left unconsumed.

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