How Do They Make Lactose Free Milk?

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How Do They Make Lactose Free Milk?
How Do They Make Lactose Free Milk? (Image: Medioimages/Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images)

The Process

Milk is made lactose free by adding the lactase enzyme to regular milk. Lactase breaks down lactose into the two simple sugars--galactose and glucose--which combine to form it. The resulting milk is usually sweeter than regular milk due to the fact that these two sugars are sweeter separately than they are when combined into lactose.

lactase is added to the milk and breaks down lactose into two simple sugars.
lactase is added to the milk and breaks down lactose into two simple sugars. (Image: Polka Dot Images/Polka Dot/Getty Images)

Lactose-Free Foods

Many other food products such as cottage cheese, ice cream and eggnog are also made lactose free using the same method. Lactose-free products are used primarily by people suffering from lactose intolerance.

Other foods like ice cream are also made lactose free.
Other foods like ice cream are also made lactose free. (Image: Jupiterimages/Creatas/Getty Images)

Lactose Intolerance

In people suffering from lactose intolerance, the body fails to produce enough of the lactase enzyme needed to break down lactose, resulting in gastrointestinal difficulties such as gas, bloating, cramping and diarrhea. Lactose can be found in many dairy products as well as in many other foods that use dairy ingredients.

lactose intolerance can cause gastrointestinal difficulties.
lactose intolerance can cause gastrointestinal difficulties. (Image: Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images)

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