Lactose is a type of sugar which is normally found in milk. Lactose is composed of simple sugar galactose and bonded with another glucose. This substance is used in food as sweetener and stabilizer. In addition, it can also be used as filler in the food and easily mixed with numerous ingredients. The physical appearance of this substance is a dry, pale-yellow powder which has a slightly sweet taste and smells similar to milk. Furthermore, lactose powder has a long shelf life, highly affordable, and widely available.
The manufacturing process consists of several steps. The ingredient, which is bovine milk whey, is evaporated to reduce the water content and crystalized to create small suspension particles. The mixture was then washed with water and centrifuged to separate the solid with mother liquor. The solid was then underwent several process to finally yield the refined lactose for food industry grade.
Lactose is used a lot in the food industry. It is used as filling for bakery and confectionary products such as bread, cookies, cereals, and pancakes. Lactose can prevent discoloration in frozen and canned products such as soups, dehydrated potatoes, and meal replacement supplements. It is also one of the ingredients for infant formula.
Lactose is one of the main ingredients for pig feed.
In the pharmaceutical industry, lactose is used as a drug coating agent, filler in tablets, and powdered dosage form in inhalers. Lactose is also used as sports nutrition and dietary supplements.