Why does Lactaid milk last longer?

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

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

Why does Lactaid milk last longer?

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.

Now what happens in the ultra-pasteurization process is that the 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.

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

It is worth mentioning here that as compared to the ultra-pasteurized Lactaid, 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 Lactaid milk last in the fridge?

The opened carton of Lactaid milk lasts for about 7-10 days in the fridge when it is stored at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below, but we recommend you to use it within one week to enjoy its peak flavor and quality.

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. When it comes to the best before or best by date, they are usually indicators of the quality of Lactaid rather than the safety.

What is the difference between Lactaid milk, regular milk, and dairy-free milk?

There is a great difference between the taste profile of Lactaid milk and regular milk. Lactaid milk has added lactase to it. The enzyme that is responsible for the breakdown of the lactose part of milk. 

This added lactase gives Lactaid milk a sweeter taste than that of 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. Another benefit of the plant-based milk variants is that they can be consumed by vegans, vegetarians, and people with lactose intolerance or milk allergy.

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.

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.

You can read more about milk allergy here.

Other FAQs about Milk which you may be interested in.

Why does soy milk curdle?

At what temperature does milk spoil?

Why does milk stop spicy?

Can you cook with Lactaid?

Lactaid milk and 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 Lactaid milk or they can go for plant-based milk.

Tips to store Lactaid

The best way to store Lactaid milk is to store it in the refrigerator. It is recommended to store Lactaid 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.

Lactaid 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. 

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

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we answered the question “why does Lactaid milk last longer” with an in-depth analysis of the reason lying behind the longer shelf life of Lactaid milk. Moreover, we discussed the difference between Lactaid milk, regular milk, and dairy-free milk.

Citations

https://www.sharecare.com/health/milk-nutrition/how-can-you-tell-if-lactaid-milk-is-still-good

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.