Milk spill offs

FACED with a surplus of milk, US dairy farmers have turned to researchers to put their excess milk to new uses. Two fruits of this unique research pact may soon hit the market -- edible packaging and tidier yoghurt.

By playing around with the amino acids of a milk protein called beta-lactoglobulin, Cornell University scientists have come up a with yoghurt that doesn't leak liquid when stored (deemed by some consumers as spoiled). Beta-lactoglobulins may even be used as carriers of oral medications since they pass undamaged through the stomach.

Scientists at the University of California at Davis are trying to turn whey, another milk protein, into an edible film. The film is a superior oxygen barrier that can extend the shelf life of crackers and nuts.