Does lactose-free milk last longer?

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “does lactose-free milk last longer” with an in-depth analysis of the shelf life of lactose-free milk. Moreover, we are going to discuss the difference between lactose-free, dairy-free, and regular milk and the tips to store lactose-free milk properly.

So without much ado, let’s dive in and figure out more about it.

Does lactose-free milk last longer than regular milk?

Lactose-free milk lasts longer than regular milk owing to the ultra-pasteurization process where milk is heated at  280°F for 2 seconds and afterward, it is chilled rapidly. This process kills almost 99.9% of all the bacteria present in milk.

The lactose-free milk has a shelf life of 60-90 days that is longer as compared to the regular milk that has a shelf life of 1-3 weeks. 

It should be kept in mind that the regular milk is pasteurized at 170°F for 19 seconds and afterward is cooled down to 40°F or even lower temperature.

How long does opened lactose-free milk last in the fridge?

The opened carton of lactose-free milk lasts for about 7-10 days but we recommend you to use it within one week.

Moreover, you should always keep an eye on the best before or the expiry date that is written on the label of your lactose-free milk carton. 

Does Lactaid milk last longer than regular milk?

Lactaid milk lasts longer than regular milk because it has to go through ultra-pasteurization during its processing. This technique kills almost 99.9% of the bacteria, thus prolongs the shelf life of the milk without affecting its taste and nutritional profile.

What is the difference between lactose-free milk and regular milk?

Taste

There is a great difference between the taste profile of both kinds of milk. The lactose-free milk has added lactase to it. The enzyme that is responsible for the breakdown of the lactose part of milk. This added lactase gives the lactose-free milk a sweeter taste than that tog the regular milk.

So if you are not a big fan of sweet milk then you can go for the plant-based milk options like almond milk, oat milk, or soy milk.

Nutritional Profile

The nutritional profile of lactose-free milk is approximately the same as that of regular milk. It is a great source of protein and nutrients like phosphorus, calcium, riboflavin, and vitamin B12.

The only difference between the two is that irregular milk contains the disaccharide sugar, lactose, which is absent in lactose-free milk.

What is the difference between lactose-free and dairy-free milk?

Lactose free-milk is still made from the milk that is collected from the cows. It has a lactase enzyme additionally added to it that breaks down the lactose part of the milk and makes it suitable for lactose-intolerant people. Moreover, it can have whey and casein present in it, therefore it is not suitable for people having milk allergies.

While the dairy-free milk does not have any milk or dairy ingredient added to its formulation. Not only it is free from lactose but milk proteins like whey and casein are also not present in it. Thus, dairy-free milk is suitable for those who have milk allergies.

What is lactose intolerance?

Lactose is a disaccharide sugar that is present in milk while lactase is the enzyme that is responsible for breaking down lactose into simpler sugars like glucose and galactose which are then used by the body to produce energy that is required to carry out the daily activities of life.

In some people the lactase production is inadequate, therefore such people are not able to fully digest the milk. 

If such lactose intolerant people consume milk or milk-related products then they can develop several gastrointestinal issues including gas, bloating, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and severe abdominal pain. Therefore they are recommended to use lactose-free milk or they can go for plant-based milk.

How to tell if your lactose-free milk has gone bad?

If you see a mold or discoloration in the milk, it can be an indication of bad milk. Moreover sour smell and bitter taste also point out that your lactose-free milk has gone bad.

What is the best way to store lactose-free milk?

  1. The best way to store a carton of lactose-free milk is to store it in the refrigerator. It is recommended to store the lactose-free milk on one of the shelves of the refrigerator rather than the door, as the temperature fluctuates a lot at the door of the refrigerator.
  2. Lactose-free milk like all other milk varieties tends to pick up the smell of other foods therefore you should avoid storing it with strong-smelling foods like garlic, cheese, onion, and fish, etc.
  3. Moreover, you should refrigerate the lactose-free milk as soon as you open the carton and should consume it within a week.

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we answered the question “does lactose-free milk last longer” with an in-depth analysis of the shelf life of lactose-free milk. Moreover, we discussed the difference between lactose-free, dairy-free, and regular milk and the tips to store lactose-free milk properly.

Citations

https://www.thespruceeats.com/difference-between-lactose-and-dairy-free-1000937

https://chemistry.stackexchange.com/questions/34884/why-does-lactose-free-milk-last-so-much-longer-than-regular-milk

Mahnoor Asghar is a Clinical Nutritionist with a bachelor's degree in Nutrition and Dietetics. She is compassionate and dedicated to playing her part in the well-being of the masses. She wants to play a fruitful role in creating nutrition and health-related awareness among the general public. Additionally, she has a keen eye for detail and loves to create content related to food, nutrition, health, and wellness.

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