When you read the word lactose, what do you think? Does the processor in you wonder what you’ll do with so much of it? Does the marketer in you wish of ways to be free of it? Does the consumer in you feel a little bloated? Do you think of lactose as an opportunity or a problem for your business? I suspect that for many of you dear readers, it is the latter.
Here’s the thing: Lactose is the major non-water component of milk; it is the evolutionary chosen nutritional carbohydrate for human development and growth. Yes, three out of four of us globally develop some level of lactose intolerance as we age. While this is a challenge for lactose utilization, are we repeating a mistake? Like milk fat — another dairy component we once actively removed from many products and one that researchers have come to realize have potential benefits — perhaps milk sugar represents another valuable opportunity we as an industry are missing.