General Question

Claydo25's avatar

Can cheese be made with lactose-free milk?

Asked by Claydo25 (15points) August 24th, 2010 from iPhone

I realize this is probably elementary for most of you, but I haven’t been able to find any documentation about it. Recipes I’ve seen just say “use milk” and stuff, but don’t speak to the science of it. Is the lactose necessary for the process? Will the cheese not form right without it? Can’t you use “lactose- free” milk that still has the lactose, but also the added “Lactaid”?
I read an article that said that that there isn’t really much lactose in a whole mozzarella cheese pizza. It implied that there was more non-countered lactose in Lactaid milk than in a cheese pizza. I find that hard to believe, since every time I’ve tried to just dare my way through 3–4 pieces of pizza, (which I don’t do anymore), it’s hurt me every time, where I can drink near a half gallon of Lactaid milk, (which, by the way, claims to be 100% lactose free), no problem…. Can anyone out there speak to all this? (Also, ditto all this for Ice Cream) ****Thanks****

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5 Answers

BarnacleBill's avatar

I’m confused. Are you trying to make cheese, or look for cheese to purchase that is suitable for lactose intolerance? If the later, look for vegan cheese substitute products. It’s the dried milk casein in cheese products that cause the lactose intolerance problems. There’s soy, rice and almond milk cheese.

Kraft also makes cheese that are suitable for lactose intolerant individuals.

Kraft gets rid of the lactose by removing the whey. Check out Kraft Natural Shredded Mozzarella, Natural Shredded Sharp Cheddar, Natural Colby, and natural cheddar – both in the block. The back of the packages say “contains 0g of lactose per serving”

Claydo25's avatar

I’m aware of all those except for the Kraft products, (which I will definitely check out, thanks), but I was really just wondering why there aren’t more normal cows milk cheeses made with normal cows milk, just without the lactose…. I figured there had to be a reason, like: the properties of the lactose are important in the coagulation process – or something like that…..I wonder if what I’m wondering about is what Kraft is doing with the “Natural” cheeses that you/BBill mentioned above….. ???

BarnacleBill's avatar

It’s weird that the lactose is in the whey. Great question.

GeorgeGee's avatar

The answer you’re looking for is: Yes, the lactose is essential to the cheese-making process. “The basis of cheesemaking relies on the fermentation of lactose by lactic acid bacteria (LAB). LAB produce lactic acid which lowers the pH and in turn assists coagulation, promotes syneresis, helps prevent spoilage and pathogenic bacteria from growing, contributes to cheese texture, flavour and keeping quality. LAB also produce growth factors which encourages the growth of non-starter organisms, and provides lipases and proteases necessary for flavour development during curing.”

dasaad4's avatar

Well…, I like a rice cheese product manufactured by ‘Galaxy International’ that I pick up from Whole Foods. I’m not a big fan of soy at all. In fact I stay away from it at all cost. I have heard though, that most of the enzymes that metabolizes cows milk are removed during today’s homogenization & pasteurization processes. And that raw cows milk is digestible to the lactose intolerant. Does anyone have any information on this or heard anything like this? I’m most curious.

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