What is lactose?

Of all the disaccharide sugars, perhaps it is lactose that always goes popular. However, the popularity of lactose is just a kind of fame by its name. So, what is lactose’s real standing in the industry? It is not so often used as much as the other sugars such as maltose, dextrose, or fructose. But to be exact in our criticism as for the “status” of lactose, we simply have to first answer the question, what is lactose? Here we will answer the question “What is lactose?” in two contexts: one is an answer from the majority’s point of view and the other answers the question “What is lactose?” from a more scientific perspective.

Whenever one is to be asked, “What is lactose?” Chances are very likely that even before the answer gets into one’s mind, there are two things that there would be two things that would get into his head even before he answers what is lactose; the two things are milk and lactose intolerance.

Those are the two things that made the answer to the question “what is lactose’s real standing in the food manufacturing industry?” somewhere between the good and the bad. If people would be asked “what is lactose?” chances are very likely, that would be, “What is lactose? Well, that’s in milk right?” or “What is lactose, you say? It’s the thing that causes lactose intolerance right?”

But then again, it doesn’t really answer the question “what is lactose?”

Frankly, it doesn’t really answer the question “what is lactose?” because it merely answers what lactose can do to somebody. According to science, lactose is a disaccharide that results from as a combination of the monosaccharide galactose and glucose. It is 4% to 6% present in the milk of cows but the breast milk from female humans have a higher proportion that is from 5 % to 8 %. This in turn, makes the common notion of what is lactose correct.

It has been said earlier that lactose is not easily digestible to a significant number of our population, which causes them an uneasy feeling in their stomach. This is due to the lack of the enzyme that digests lactose, the lactase. This condition is called lactose intolerance and is one of the reasons why non-dairy products don’t use lactose as a sweetener for their products; they would rather use other sugars than to decrease their sales because lactose intolerant people wouldn’t buy it.

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