Making dairy healthier with biosolutions
An estimated 68% of the world’s population have a reduced ability to digest lactose. At the same time, many people want low-sugar options for the sake of their health. Biotechnology works with the natural potential of milk to deliver both these health benefits. Let’s rethink dairy.
Lactose intolerance – a widespread problem
Across the world, an estimated 68% of people are lactose intolerant. That means they can’t digest lactase, a sugar found in milk. Prevalence varies according to ethnicity. It’s highest among people of African, Asian, Hispanic and Native American descent. While lactose intolerance isn’t dangerous, its symptoms can be very unpleasant. They include stomach cramps, bloating and gas, but the severity of the symptoms varies. So some lactose-intolerant people experience diarrhea, nausea and even vomiting after consuming dairy. One way for them to avoid these symptoms is to reduce their intake of dairy or cut it out altogether. But dairy products play a key nutritional role in many diets, as shown in a recent study of food-based dietary guidelines across the world. Many recognize dairy as a source of multiple essential vitamins and minerals and/or high-quality protein. Yet people with high degrees of lactose intolerance can’t access these benefits. Isn’t it time for a rethink?
Overcoming lactose intolerance with biotechnology
Our family of enzymes for dairy unlock milk’s hidden potential. They break down lactose into two easily digestible sugars, leading to milks with residual lactose levels as low as <0.01%.
That makes milk’s health benefits available to the two-thirds of the world’s population who suffer from lactose intolerance.
And wait there is more: More nutritional benefits: cut sugar levels in half
The two sugars that lactase enzymes break lactose into are glucose and galactose. These aren’t just easily digestible; they also have a higher sweetness value. So dairy producers can add less sugar to flavored yogurts and similar products, but still get the same sweetness. Producers can use it to cut sugar levels in flavored milks and yogurts, while keeping the desired sweetness.
“We’re proud to not only help lactose-intolerant people get all the nutritional benefits of dairy, but also to unlock the benefit of low-sugar dairy for all consumers.”
Birgitte Borch, Business Unit Director, Plant & Dairy, Novozymes.