U.S. Dairy Products > Lactose > Lactose Categories

Food Grade Lactose

Product Definition

Food grade lactoseFood grade lactose is produced by concentrating whey or permeate (a co-product of whey protein concentrate production) to supersaturate the lactose, then removing and drying the lactose crystals. Special processes of crystallization, as well as grinding and fractionated sifting, produce types of lactose which differ in particle size distribution. Today, the industry offers several types of lactose ranging from superfine to extra coarse crystals for all applications. The lactose content is not less than 99%, with the sulfated ash content not more than 0.3%, both on a dry basis. The pH of a 10% solution is not less than 4.5 or more than 7.5.

Typical Composition*
Lactose (minimum) ** 99.0%***
Protein 0.1%
Fat 0%
Ash 0.1%-0.3%
Total moisture** 4.5-505%

*Please consult your U.S. supplier for detailed product specifications
**Includes bound water
***Includes monohydrate or anhydrous

Physical and Chemical Characteristics

Typical Microbiological Analysis:
Standard plate count 5-15,000/g
Coliform count <10/g
E. coli Negative
Listeria Negative
Salmonella Negative
Coagulase-positive staphylococci Negative

Other Characteristics:
Scorched particle content 7.5mg/25g (maximum)
Bulk density, tapped 0.7-0.9g/ml (depends upon mesh size specification)
Appearance Crystalline, free-flowing powder
Color White to pale yellow


Typical recommendations are to store and ship in a cool, dry environment at temperatures less than 27ºC and relative humidity less than 65%. Check with your suppliers for actual storage and specification requirements as they may vary.

Typical Applications

For bakery, confectionery, snack, frozen desserts, diabetic, infant formula, baby foods, jams and preserves, sweeteners, instantized powders, meat products, savory mixes, soups and sauces, beer production, nutraceuticals, and other foods as:

  • A “modifier” in humanized infant formula to correct the balance between carbohydrate and protein in breast milk replacers based on cows’ milk
  • A carbohydrate source for fermentation by selected starter cultures to produce lactic acid for preservation in dry sausage types, such as salami
  • An aid in masking off-flavors and after-tastes caused by emulsifying salts, phosphates, and other bitter compounds in the meat and sausage industry
  • A carrier of flavorings, aroma compounds, coloring agents and artificial sweeteners in confectioneries, baked goods, spices and tabletop sweeteners
  • An additive to improve the free-flowing properties of powdered foods such as instantized spray-dried milk powder
  • An encapsulating agent for volatile flavoring compounds or milkfat or other fats
  • A flavor and color enhancer in salad dressings, mayonnaise, soups, sauces, baked goods, and in the fermentation process
  • A crystallization behavior “modifier” of the other sugars to improve body, texture, chewiness, and shelf life of confectioneries such as chocolates, fondants, caramels, fudges, sweetened condensed milk, and candy coating processes