How long does lactose-free milk last?

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “how long does lactose-free milk last” with an in-depth analysis of the shelf life of lactose-free milk in different mediums. Moreover, we are going to discuss the ways to tell if lactose-free milk has gone bad and the tips to store lactose-free milk properly.

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

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

Lactose-free milk lasts for about 60-90 days when stored in the fridge properly. During its processing, lactose-free milk is ultra-pasteurized which makes its shelf life considerably longer. In ultra-pasteurization, 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 without affecting its taste and nutritional profile.

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 using it within a week as the quality of the lactose-free milk begins to degrade afterward.

How long does lactose-free milk last at room temperature?

Lactose-free milk lasts for about 4 hours at room temperature. It is advised to discard the milk that has been out uncovered at room temperature for more than 4 hours. As the bacteria grow more rapidly between 40 °F and 140 °F, therefore there are great chances of your lactose-free milk already being bacteria-laden if it has been out of the fridge for more than 4 hours.

But we recommend you refrigerate your lactose-free milk within 2 hours to preserve its freshness and quality for a long time.

How long does lactose-free milk last in the freezer?

Lactose-free milk if stored properly in air-tight containers or bottles can last for about 4 months. 

The frozen milk should be thawed in the refrigerator. One thing to keep in mind is that if you store your lactose-free milk for too long in the freezer, it will develop a grainy texture.

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

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.

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 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. Lactose intolerance can develop with increasing age in certain individuals.

What happens if lactose intolerant people consume regular 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.

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. Moreover, you should refrigerate the lactose-free milk as soon as you open the carton and should consume it within a week.

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

You can tell if the lactose-free milk has gone bad or not by considering its appearance, smell, and texture.

Appearance

If you see a mold or off-colors in the milk, it can be an indication of bad milk. 

Smell

Lactose-free milk that has gone bad has a sour or acidic smell in it.

Texture

The thick or clumpy texture is the indication that your lactose-free milk has gone bad.

We do not recommend you to taste bad milk but if you still want to try, lactose-free milk that has gone bad will be a bit bitter in taste. 

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we answered the question “how long does lactose-free milk last” with an in-depth analysis of the shelf life of lactose-free milk in different mediums. Moreover, we discussed the ways to tell if lactose-free milk has gone bad and the tips to store lactose-free milk properly.

Citations

https://www.stilltasty.com/Fooditems/index/19090

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

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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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