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See Also: Lactose Intolerance in Cooking Tips


Lactose is a disaccharide (compound sugar) found in milk, also called milk sugar.  It forms about 5% of cow's milk (about 2-8% in the milk of all mammals).  It is the least sweet of natural sugars. Used as a food additive in baked goods, confections, baby foods, etc. 

The milk sugar lactose, accounts for almost half of the calories in milk. Lactose is not found in any other food. (It is produced in very small quantities in a few inedible tropical plants).

Lactose intolerance is an inherited inability to properly digest dairy products, due to a deficiency in the amount of the enzyme, ß-galactosidase in the small intestine. This enzyme is necessary for the hydrolysis of lactose (a disaccharide) into its constituent monosaccharides, glucose and galactose. Symptoms of lactose intolerance, including abdominal cramps, flatulence and frothy diarrhea, can increase with age.
Reprinted from the International Food Information Council Foundation

Lactose intolerence varies considerably among various ethnic and racial groups.
U.S. population affected by Lactose Intolerance:

    Overall population: 25%
    Asian - 90%
    African-American - 80%
    Hispanic - 70%
    Caucasian - 15%

There are several solutions for those affected with this problem.

    • Lactase enzyme is available in various capsules. The enzyme makes dairy products more digestible.

    • Milk is also available which is lactose free. An enzyme is added to neutralize the lactose, enabling the milk to be digested easily. This lactose free milk has a slightly sweeter taste that regular milk, because the lactose has been broken down into simple sugars.

    • Most people that are allergic to cow milk products and some who are lactose intolerant can use goat and sheep milk products. The lactose or protein in the milk is what usually causes the allergic reaction or intolerance. Goat & sheep milk both have lactose and protein but it is of a different make up that doesn't bother most people.

Here are 2 recipes using Lactose Free Milk



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