U.S. Dairy Products > Lactose

Common Questions

Because 76-85% of whey permeate and 78-88% of milk permeate is lactose, the lactose content dictates the functionality of permeate. Food formulators desiring the Maillard browning reaction in a bakery formula can achieve this through using either permeate or lactose. However, some adjustments to formulations are generally required due to the higher ash content of permeate. Permeate also contains mineral salts such as calcium phosphate, magnesium, sodium and potassium, which appear to contribute to a more salty flavor.

No, bakery yeasts do not ferment lactose. They can however, ferment their component sugars, glucose and galactose.

Yes, lactose is a reducing sugar and therefore will contribute to Maillard browning.

Lactose intolerance is a very individualized condition. Many people can enjoy a variety of dairy foods that best suit them. The more you understand about the lactose in dairy foods, the more easily you can make decisions that are right for you. Please visit the National Dairy Council's website for more information.