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Is it true that “lactose-free” milk is made just by adding lactase?

Indeed, in general, this is true. Manufacturers prepare ordinary milk, which contains lactose, to produce a lactose-free type, simply by adding lactase to it, an enzyme that facilitates the digestion of the majority of lactose contained in milk. Thus, lactose is fragmented into glucose and galactose which are easier to digest.

In addition, some people suffering from lactose intolerance may opt for a second option that allows them to keep on consuming ordinary milk but while taking, at the same time, lactase tablets that are sold in the pharmacy (with the approval of their doctor of course). These tablets help the digestion of lactose, and thus following the same principle as industrialists who add lactase to their milk to produce the lactose-free milk. There is also another way of producing this type of milk which is called “ultrafiltration” and that is rarely used.

But what is lactose? Well, this is the type of sugar that’s naturally present in milk. Its digestion takes place in the small intestine and an enzyme called lactase divides it into 2 sugar molecules, galactose and glucose, which are then absorbed by our organism.

About Denise Abou Jamra

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