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Milk Tap
Milk Tap
Image from Steve Bowers
An item of kitchenware, the milk tap - also known as the microdairy - is basically identical to the synthi-breast but is a standalone item intended for normal household use rather than for feeding a child. It takes power and feedstock material and uses it to produce fresh milk on demand for consumption and use by its owners.

In terms of output, a milk tap for single adult human-sized person might produce perhaps half a litre of milk a day. Those for families or other large groups use milk taps with proportionately larger outputs; by comparison an animals such as a cow can produce perhaps thirty litres of milk a day. Obviously milk taps for other uses, such as a coffee creamer version where far less product is required, can be much smaller.

The volume of milk that can be produced in a given time depends on the exact appliance. Smaller ones provide milk for an individual, with larger ones providing for families or larger groups. Individual and family sized milk taps are quite small, fitting on a counter top, with volumes of between a few litres and a few tens of litres depending on the output required. Ones for larger groups become increasingly larger in size. For cases where very large amounts of milk are required, larger milk taps that are free-standing or built into a structure are used. Some individuals or families have units larger than the number of people in a given location might require to give them sufficient additional capacity to host (for example) a major dinner party.

Most models allow the user to control the temperature and creaminess of the milk produced. More advanced models also allow the user to select the type of mammal from which the synthesised milk is derived, such as cow, human, dolphin, camel and so on, as well as add flavours and other additives.

Some models use biotech cells to synthesise the milk. Others are either part of or include a nanoforge to synthesize the necessary molecules directly, requiring only water, feedstock materials and a power source to operate. Some are a dedicated nanoforge that specializes in producing liquids. Others are a series of settings on a more generalized device that allow it to do essentially the same thing.

In many cases the milk tap is integrated into the general food synthesis apparatus of a kitchen.

The appearance of milk taps can vary widely depending on the taste of the owner. In some the milk is delivered via a normal tap not unlike that for water. Others use a pump not unlike that for beer. Others again have a much more organic look and may even resemble an actual cows teat, or some other biont breast.

Milk taps are often part of a range of organic fluid taps, each producing a different beverage with more rarely used fluids being made on demand. Depending on consumption levels each tap may have a reservoir - heated or chilled depending on user preference - allowing multiple glasses of the beverage to be dispensed without running out.

Others taps use similar technologies to make any of a variety of fruit juices and/or alcoholic beverages. Some combined taps can mix (for example) fruit juices and milk or cream to produce smoothies.

In cases where a more portable version is needed, or if a central refrigerator is still considered desirable, part of the unit can detach with a convenient handle that turns it into a pitcher, within inbuilt heating or cooling elements as required. When plugged back into the main unit the pitcher refills as new beverage is synthesized.

Similar technologies allow the production of meats and vegetables, although for various reasons many (not all) cultures in OA continue to engage in more 'conventional' agriculture to varying degrees.
 
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Development Notes
Text by Tony Jones

Initially published on 29 August 2012.

 
 
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