Milk contains the sugar lactose which must be broken down by the enzyme lactase prior to digestion. Although infants produce lactase in sufficient amounts to break down lactose in breast milk, over 70% of the global adult population have reduced lactase production, resulting in lactose sensitivity or intolerance.
Symptoms of lactose intolerance include abdominal bloating, cramps, diarrhea and flatulence. As a result, sufferers may refrain from consuming milk despite it serving as an important source of proteins, vitamins and minerals (such as calcium).
Lactose intolerance may be overcome by consuming dairy products in smaller quantities, consuming them with other foods or by consuming dairy products containing low levels of lactose such as hard cheeses, yoghurt and reduced-lactose milk.
Reduced-lactose milk is produced using commercially-available lactase. Lactase is produced by yeasts such as Kluyveromyces lactis and may be used for Kosher, Halal, Vegetarian, Organic and GMO-Free certified products. Breakdown of lactose to glucose and galactose also increases the sweetness of dairy products, allowing development of sweeter products without increasing caloric content or using artificial sweeteners.
Fermentation-produced lactase for use in reduced or lactose-free dairy products