Lactose is a natural sugar found in milk and milk products. As not all humans can easily digest lactose, the dairy industry has developed low-lactose or lactose-free milk-based alternatives.
And this sector is on the rise. According to Statista, global market value of lactose-free dairy products reached $10.6bn (€9.47bn) in 2017, and is set to reach $17.8bn by 2027.
Ingredients supplier Chr. Hansen is responding to this market growth with the launch of its second generation lactose biosensor test kit: the LactoSensR. The kit allows for quick and robust documentation of low lactose or lactose-free claims for every batch.
To use kit, dairy manufacturers create a sample preparation using a LactoSensR dilution. The preparation is then piped onto the LactoSensR sensor, explained Chr. Hansen’s commercial development manager, Ole Madsen. “It takes about 50 seconds to have a result. The protocol is very easy.”
When compared to the first generation LactoSens, “the specificity of the test has increased”, Madsen continued. “If you had a product containing coffee or chocolate, [the first generation test] couldn’t really reliably measure the lactose content. With the second generation, we can.”
Chr. Hansen describes this element as being ‘interference free’, meaning that lactose measurements are not impeded by the addition of vitamins, sugars, or fruit.
The test kit can be applied to a vast range of dairy products, including white mass and finished products, and can detect lactose levels as low as 0.008%. LactoSensR is certified by third-party test kit body NordVal International.
LactoSensR enables dairy manufacturers to determine and document lactose concentrations accurately across all lactose-free and low lactose dairy products. This is a sought-after improvement to our Test and Equipment range and a great aid to customers’ dairy production,” – Ole Madsen, commercial development manager at Chr. Hansen
Further, the test kit will help dairy manufacturers sell lactose-free and low-lactose products in-store, the Danish company told FoodNavigator. Increasingly, dairies are required to submit documentation to retailers, to ensure individual batches are indeed lactose-free, Madsen explained. “Dairies want to document that what they put on the label is factually correct.”