ABC’s “Shark Tank” to Feature Local Company with Safe New Way for Mothers Across the U.S. to Preserve Their Breast Milk for Up to Three Years on the Shelf
A new mom works diligently to pump, freeze, and store breast milk for her baby in order to build a supply for when she heads back to work. After three months of pumping, she finally thaws the milk and gives the first bottle, but her child spits it out and refuses to drink it. Due to high lipase or other factors affecting its taste while stored in the freezer, her milk has become essentially unusable. Months of work gone to waste, mom and baby are both in tears.
This frustrating scenario is one of many that happens over and over for new moms. Houston company Milkify, the first breast milk freeze-drying service available direct to consumers, solves that problem and many others. Milkify’s solution is so groundbreaking that it’s being featured on ABC’s hit show, “Shark Tank,” on April 7.
Berkley Luck, Ph.D., molecular biologist, new mom and founder of Milkify, says the most rewarding part of her work is to hear stories like this – and then hear from that same mom that her baby happily gulped down six ounces of freeze-dried breast milk. The same milk that baby had previously refused, now has new life thanks to Milkify’s patent-pending process. This is an actual story from one of their first clients here in Houston.
“My goal in starting Milkify was to allow moms to preserve the nutritional value of their breast milk long term,” Luck says. “It was only after starting Milkify that I realized the many other life-changing benefits of our freeze-drying process, including salvaging high-lipase breast milk. Our one-of-a-kind facility and strict quality controls allow this to happen in a safe environment that is up to the highest standards. We allow no corners to be cut and no compromises to be made when it comes to the safety and quality of our freeze-drying process for breast milk.”
Milkify gives mothers an easy and safe option to freeze-dry their breast milk, extending the life of this precious source of nutrition for up to three years. Freeze-dried breast milk powder is easy to use when parents are on the go, requires no refrigeration, and prevents nutrient degradation caused by long-time freezer storage. Since its founding in 2019, the company has saved over 500,000 ounces of breast milk from the freezer. They make it a simple process for parents with their easy-to-use shipping kits and local drop-off options, handling all aspects of breast milk logistics for their clients – a first-of-its-kind “breast milk concierge.”
After over $1M of investment and months of development, Milkify inaugurated its new flagship location in Houston in October 2022. This is the only GMP-certified processing facility in the U.S. built exclusively for the freeze-drying of human milk. Milkify is the only company with a completely contact-free process (the breast milk never contacts their equipment or utensils). Milkify’s proprietary SafeDry freeze-drying pouches allow water vapor to escape while protecting the breast milk from contamination during processing.
After freeze-drying, each bag of breast milk powder is packaged individually in order to avoid the use of packaging equipment. Trained technicians perform this transfer using sterile techniques in ISO5 cleanroom workstations. This is important because recent FDA inspections of infant formula facilities identified the presence of Cronobacter sakazakii (the same bacteria responsible for several infant formula recalls in 2022) in powder-packaging equipment. Milkify’s process allows the packaging of breast milk powder without the use of this type of equipment.
Not all freeze-drying services are the same. Given the immense effort a mother puts into saving her milk (and the consequences of improper handling), Milkify recommends they look into a service ahead of time and ask thorough questions in order to keep their baby and their breast milk safe. Services operating out of their homes – or outsourcing the freeze-drying to a processing center that also packages other types of foods (including raw meat, dairy, nuts, poultry or pet food) cannot maintain the kind of environment needed to ensure the sterile handling of breast milk. As the only company to have a completely contact-free process from start to finish, Milkify’s safety protocols are sterile, consistent and absolutely safe.
“We started Milkify to give parents a better way to store, use, and transport their breast milk,” said Pedro Silva, the co-founder and CEO of Milkify. “And while we welcome new entrants into this space, it is disappointing that not all breast milk freeze-drying services share Milkify’s commitment to safety and quality. As the string of recent formula recalls has shown us, when it comes to feeding infants – the stakes are high. That is why we urge all parents to thoroughly vet a freeze-drying service and its facilities in order to protect the integrity of their breast milk and the health of their babies.”
If you would like to set up a tour of the one-of-a-kind facility, interview co-founders Berkley Luck and Pedro Silva, or receive video of client stories/be connected to Milkify clients, please contact Jenna Jackson at P+R Creative Group at Jenna@PRCreativeGroup.com or 917 922 8146. Learn much more about Milkify at www.milkify.me.