German researchers created crystallized milk pods that may someday replace coffee creamer.

By Devon Walsh
Updated August 17, 2017
new milk capsules
Credit: Courtesy of Uni Halle / Martha Wellner

In another giant leap for humankind, nutritional scientists at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) in Germany recently created dissolvable milk capsules. Similar to sugar cubes filled with condensed milk, the crystalline pods dissolve when plopped into a hot drink, like coffee or tea.

PhD student Martha Wellner and her professor Joachim Ulrich, came up with a simple process to make these lactic capsules possible. They combine milk and sugar with “a material which gives [the pods] coating properties,” according to This mixture is then placed into a mold for drying and hardening, forming the final product. Currently, Wellner and Ulrich can produce a sweet and a less-sweet variety. A sugar-free option is still to come.

Ulrich and his team have spent much of their careers studying crystal formation processes. This development allows their work to have real world applicability. They are also looking into using this process for medicinal purposes to make pills.

In 2015, the scientists registered a patent for the milk pods, however, they are not yet available on the market. The team is still determining whether the capsules meet all legal requirements for retail and whether or not they can efficiently produce them on an industrial scale.

Hopefully they suss those minor details out. Not only are these milk capsules new-age and futuristic, they have the capacity to save the environment too, by limiting the use of plastic. Just think how much unnecessary waste goes into those, according to Ulrich, “extremely unpractical coffee creamer packaging” at diners across the nation. Over here, we’re imagining a day when you can simply plop a milk and sugar pod into your coffee on a turbulent airplane or offer "one lump or two percent" to guests at afternoon tea.

One thing's for sure, you definitely won’t be crying over spilled milk.