How is lactose-free milk made?

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “how is lactose-free milk made” with an in-depth analysis of how lactose-free milk is made from regular milk. Moreover, we are going to discuss the taste profile and nutritional profile of lactose-free milk.

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

How is lactose-free milk made?

Lactose-free milk is made by the addition of lactase enzymes in regular milk. Regular milk contains a disaccharide sugar, Lactose. So what this lactase enzyme does is that it breaks down the lactose present in the milk and changes it into simpler sugars like glucose and galactose.

The flavor profile of lactose-free milk

As the lactase enzyme breaks down the lactose present in regular milk into glucose and galactose and we know that glucose is much sweeter as compared to lactose therefore the lactose-free milk has a sweeter taste than regular milk. 

Thus, lactose-free milk and regular milk do have different flavor profiles.

The consistency of lactose-free milk

When it comes to the texture or the consistency of the lactose-free milk then it has the same consistency as that of regular milk. It can be used as a perfect milk substitute in your coffee, tea, pastry, or any other recipe where regular milk is called for.

The nutritional value of lactose-free milk

Lactose-free milk has a nutritional profile that is similar to that of regular milk. It’s a good source of protein, with about 8 grams per cup (240 ml). Lactose-free milk is also high in phosphorus, calcium, riboflavin, and vitamin B12, among other minerals.

Furthermore, there are several varieties of lactose-free milk on the market that are supplemented with vitamin D, which, in combination with calcium, aids in bone health.

Is lactose-free milk suitable for lactose intolerant people?

Lactose-free milk is 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. 

Lactose is a disaccharide sugar that is present in milk. Lactase is a digestive enzyme that is made in the small intestine and 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. 

Lactose does not break down and does not absorb into the bloodstream if a person’s lactase levels are low. Instead, it travels to the colon or large intestine. Any lactose-containing product causes bacteria in the colon to produce more gas. For the person, this might result in discomfort and other unpleasant sensations.

Lactose intolerance usually appears between the ages of 2 and 12, and while some people can regain their lactose digestion ability in maturity, others must live with it for the rest of their lives. 

Lactose intolerance is also a concern for the elderly, as the amount of lactase secreted in their bodies gradually diminishes as they get older. Lactose intolerance affects over 70% of the world’s adult population, though the numbers vary by country.

If lactose intolerant persons consume milk or milk-related products, they may experience gas, bloating, nausea, vomiting, belching, diarrhea, and severe abdominal pain.

Therefore the people with lactose intolerance are directed to consume lactose-free milk in which the lactose is already broken down by the added lactase enzyme.

Is lactose-free milk suitable for people having milk allergies?

As lactose-free milk has whey and casein present in it, therefore it is not suitable for people having milk allergies. Dairy-free milk is recommended for people having milk allergies as it does not contain any milk protein, or milk products present in its formulation.

Is lactose-free milk suitable for vegans?

As lactose-free milk is collected from the cows therefore it is not suitable for those who are vegan. Therefore vegans can go for dairy-free milk (plant-based milk).

You can read about dairy alternatives here.

Tips to properly 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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 “how is lactose-free milk made” with an in-depth analysis of how lactose-free milk is made from regular milk. Moreover, we discussed the taste profile and nutritional profile of lactose-free milk.

Citations

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/lactose-free-milk#:~:text=Lactose%2Dfree%20milk%20is%20made,avoiding%20dairy%20for%20other%20reasons.
https://www.arla.com/articles/what-is-lactose-free-milk-and-how-does-it-work/
https://www.thoughtco.com/how-lactose-free-milk-is-made-4011110
https://www.livestrong.com/article/337301-how-is-lactose-free-milk-made/

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.