Night milking for sleepy time

NIGHT TRIALS: Synlait's Dunsandel plant is trying night-time milking.
NIGHT TRIALS: Synlait's Dunsandel plant is trying night-time milking.

Chinese-controlled milk powder manufacturer, Synlait Milk, is producing a new specialised milk collected from cows at night to help people with sleep disorders.

The Canterbury-based company plans a trial of the product to demonstrate its effectivness.

Synlait Night Milk is milk collected from cows during the hours of darkness, and undergoes specialised processing at Synlait Milk's new nutritional plant in Dunsandel which was opened in November last year, the company says.

Synlait Milk research manager, Dr Simon Causer, says that cows produce a sleep-promoting hormone called melatonin during the hours of darkness, and just as with human mothers, this hormone is expressed in the milk.

"Melatonin plays a key role in helping humans regulate day-night cycles, and by selectively collecting milk produced by cows during the night we can create a 100 percent natural sleep aid", he says.

Synlait Milk has partnered with sister company, Synlait Farms, to produce Synlait Night Milk, with additional support from the New Zealand Government.

"Having determined the feasibility of production, and that the change of routine has little effect on the behaviour of the cows", Causer says "the next step in the process will involve carrying out a clinical trial to demonstrate efficacy of the product when taken by a study group comprising patients with insomnia".

The trial will involve patients drinking a glass of Synlait Night Milk 30 minutes before going to bed, and various measures of sleep quality will be taken during the course of the night to demonstrate the effectiveness of the product compared with conventional milk.

Synlait Milk general manager for market and product development Dr Tony McKenna says products such as Synlait Night Milk command a substantial premium over conventional milk powders. Asia and Europe are considered significant market with key consumers likely to be professional people, the elderly and international travellers. travellers.

Synlait Night Milk is part of a suite of initiatives Synlait Milk is working on to develop its nutritional products business.

The Press