Dairy Products Modified in their Lactose Content
Maria C. Perotti, Wolf I. Veronica, Venica C. Ines, Bergamini C. Viviana.
Lactose intolerance is a problem suffered by a large part of the world population. The simplest solution is to remove (partially or completely) dairy products from diet. However, a more convenient alternative from the nutritional viewpoint would be to replace the intake of regular dairy products by others in which the lactose content has been modified. In effect, the dairy products with reduced-lactose and lactose-free contents are examples of added-value products, whose production is targeted to a specific group of consumers. The increased manufacture of these dairy products is driven by the increasing knowledge we have on the lactose intolerance problem.
There are different technological methods to modify the lactose content in dairy products, such as enzymatic hydrolysis, ultrafiltration and chromatography. The lactose hydrolysis using β-galactosidases is the strategy most widely used in the industry, making it possible to obtain products with low lactose levels. A wide range of this type of products such as milks, creams, ice-creams and fermented milks, are commercially available around the world. In Latin America, which records a very high incidence of deficient-lactase individuals, there are delactosed products available such as fluid and powder milks and some fermented milks. The consumption of fermented dairy products has undergone a rapid increase in Argentina, where the yogurt is the most popular product. In this context, we are working on different aspects on the production of lactose-hydrolyzed yogurt, as this product is still not available in the Argentinean market.
The purpose of this contribution is to review the current knowledge on the lactose intolerance problem and the reducedlactose dairy products, with special emphasis on the applied technological processes. Preliminary results obtained by our research group are also included.
Keywords: Lactose intolerance, Technological process, Lactose-modified dairy products, b-galactosidases, ultrafiltration, chromatography, decalcification process, milk, glycosidic linkage, bifidobacteria
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