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The importance of lactase in food

The importance of lactase in food
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Milk is an important source of proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals, in particular calcium. The majority of babies are born with the ability to digest milk with lactose, thanks to the lactase enzyme that they generate. However, this capacity to produce lactase by the body is reduced gradually as the years go by for almost all people. The capacity to digest lactose is determined genetically. For instance, in Europe only a small percentage of the population has intolerance, while in Africa this percentage is higher.

It can be said that 70% of the world’s population suffers a certain degree of lactose intolerance.

Lactose intolerance by ethnicity

Ref.: "Lactose and Lactase", Scientific American, October, 1972, by Norman Kretchmer

The application of lactase to milk and dairy products permits to unfold the lactose into glucose and saccharose, obtaining products low in lactose. Given that glucose and saccharose are easier to digest than lactose, food with a low content in lactose is better because it can be digested easily.

The use of lactase is not only beneficial for those individuals with lactose intolerance, but also for all the consumers since the application to milk and dairy products allows obtaining products easier to digest.


28/03/2012 back to top