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What is Lactose and how is it processed?

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Lactose is a naturally occurring sugar present in dairy foods. It is the main carbohydrate in milk, with approximately 4.7% of cow’s milk composed of lactose. Lactose is composed of glucose and galactose, two simple sugars. Glucose is used as a source of energy in the body whilst galactose is used as part of glycoproteins and glycolipids. Milk-derived dairy products contain variable levels of lactose and feature prominently in the nutritional recommendations throughout the world.

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Lactose is the main constituent of whey. Ultrafiltration of whey (acid or sweet) results in a protein enriched retentate and a lactose enriched permeate. Lactose is manufactured from this permeate. It is first concentrated by pre evaporation (630%TS) and then by high evaporation (3060%TS). It is transferred to crystallization tanks where crystallization takes place slowly according to a predetermined time/temperature programme. The tanks have cooling jackets and are fitted with special agitators. The lactose is washed and dried in a back mix dryer and then a fluidised bed dryer followed by milling to the desired particle size. Tirlán Ingredients supply refined, medium and fine milled lactose in 40, 80, 100 and 200 mesh sizes.

Our lactose has a clean flavour profile and good solubility, making it ideal for use across a range of applications.

In chocolate, lactose brings a softer taste and a range of cohesive textures. It also helps with chocolate crystallisation, and can assist with mouthfeel from smooth to crunchy.

In Bakery applications lactose provides a low sweetness option and its low solubility promotes caramelization.

Lactose can also be used in seasonings to aid colour and flavour enhancement. It also has emulsifying properties, can be used as a filler and binder and is often used as part of cost reduction, as part of liquid milk or milk powder standardization. Here at Tirlán we are happy to discuss our lactose offering and various applications it can be used in.

For more information on our Lactose Ingredient offering, click here