Explore Lactose with Megazyme

December 02, 2021

The dairy industry is evolving. When making choices on the products they purchase, consumers take various factors into consideration. Increased personal health consciousness has led to ‘conventional’ value drivers such as cost, taste, and convenience being phased out in favor of more holistic ones like nutritional value, health benefits, and organic origins. It has resulted in a demand for complete transparency in food and beverage labeling. Transparency offers dairy manufacturers an opportunity to build higher levels of brand loyalty through increased levels of trust.

Lactose in Milk and Dairy Products

Milk and dairy products are commonly considered an important part of the human diet as they are a good source of calcium, magnesium, and other crucial nutrients. Lactose is the natural and most abundant sugar present in milk and most animal-based dairy products. During digestion, the body naturally produces an enzyme called lactase which breaks down the lactose resulting in galactose and glucose that can be absorbed in the small intestine.

Lactose Intolerance — A Rising Issue

Lactose intolerance is now one of the most common food intolerances affecting up to 70% of the global population. Those affected by lactose intolerance are lacking or deficient in the lactase enzyme, so they cannot digest lactose which reaches the large intestine and is metabolized by bacteria. It leads to undesirable side effects such as nausea, vomiting, cramps, flatulence, and diarrhea. The safest option for those who are intolerant to lactose is to avoid lactose at all costs, but nutritional specialists warn against a complete exclusion of dairy from the diet as this may lead to an inadequate intake of calcium and other minerals, resulting in a risk of bone diseases like osteoporosis. Therefore, there is a responsibility on manufacturers to produce innovative milk and dairy products with low-lactose or lactose-free content that people with an intolerance can consume.

The Importance of Accurate Measurement for Accurate Labeling

Owing to the serious nature of lactose intolerance, the accurate determination of lactose content for product labeling purposes is critical. Regulatory bodies have moved to protect the consumer with strict regulatory and labeling requirements so that consumers can trust the information displayed on a product label. The Megazyme lactose assay kit (K-LOLAC) offers a newly multi-lab validated solution for the dairy industry as it is the only enzymatic method for the measurement of lactose in low-lactose and lactose-free products currently holding multi-laboratory validation. The reliability, sensitivity, and robustness of the K-LOLAC method has been recognized by AOAC and has become the first Final Action Official Method AOAC 2020.08. It’s an innovative, reliable solution for lactose measurement.

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Category: Food Safety