Scientists in New Zealand have created the world’s first cow clones that produce special milk that can increase the speed and ease of cheese-making.

The researchers in Hamilton say their herd of nine transgenic cows make highly elevated levels of milk proteins – called casein – with improved processing properties and heat stability.

Cows have previously been engineered to produce proteins for medical purposes, but this is the first time the milk itself has been genetically enhanced.

The scientists hope the breakthrough will transform the cheese industry, and – if widened – the techniques could also be used to “tailor” milk for human consumption.