Can I make my milk lactose-free myself?

Asker: Emily, 17 years old

Answer

In order for lactose to be absorbed into the body, it must be broken down by the enzyme lactase. The sugars glucose and galactose are formed here, which are easily absorbed through the small intestine. People who do not have the enzyme lactase are called lactose intolerant. An excessive intake of lactose (via milk or dairy products) leads to intestinal problems in these people. A large proportion of African and Asian peoples are lactose intolerant. Actually, this is more a genetic variant than an abnormality. With us, the vast majority of the population can break down lactose. Lactose-free milk is available on the market for people who are lactose intolerant. The enzyme lactase was added to the milk in the dairy factory, after which the enzyme was allowed to do its job for about 24 hours to convert the lactose as much as possible into glucose and galactose. This also makes the milk slightly sweeter. The milk is then heated (UHT) and packaged. The enzyme is inactivated by the heating. You can no longer use that milk with enzyme to make other milk lactose-free.

However, you can buy lactase on the internet to make milk lactose-free yourself, for example via the website:

You can then carry out at home what is normally done in the dairy factory; Please note that this is done under hygienic conditions and that the milk will then only have a limited shelf life.

Answered by

dr. Jan De Block

dairy research; composition, processing, authenticity of milk and dairy products; ice cream; chocolate

Institute for Agricultural and Fisheries Research
Burg. van Gansberghelaan 96 box 1 9820 Merelbeke
http://www.ilvo.vlaanderen.be

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