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Lactose Intolerance

New to being lactose intolerant. Purchased milk with lactase added and am wondering if you can cook and bake with this or does heat destroy or breakdown the lactase enzyme?

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  1. Heat doesn't break down the lactose, unfortunately, but depending on how sensitive you are to it, you may be able to tolerate some baked goods that don't contain a ton of dairy. Personally, I can't have any dairy, but I do know folks who can't drink straight-up milk but don't have a problem with the comparatively small about in, say, a muffin.

    I've never tried baking with lactose-free milk, but I am pretty sure that you can use it interchangeably with regular

    2 Replies
    1. re: pickledtink

      Wow... Did you read the post? That wasn't what the OP asked at all.

      The question was regarding whether or not heat breaks down the LACTASE enzyme added to the milk. Lactase is an enzyme that breaks down lactose. (The presence of lactase in raw milk is why most people with lactose intolerance can enjoy raw milk because the pasteurization process hasn't destroyed it.)

      1. re: wapfcat

        It's not polite to 'wow' other posters! :)

        " All milk, raw or pasteurized, contains lactose and can cause lactose intolerance in sensitive individuals. There is no indigenous lactase in milk."

        Lactase is an enzyme that breaks down the lactose. If there was lactase in raw milk, it wouldn't be any lactose in the first place.

    2. That's a good question, and I'd be inclined to ask the manufacturer. Most enzymes are denatured at relatively low temperatures, perhaps lower than the temperature at which the product was pasteurized.

      Based on some quick googling, others have speculated regarding lactose-free milk:
      1) Lactase is added to milk
      2) Lactose is digested into galactose and glucose
      3) Pasteurization denatures remaining lactase

      An article on WebMD suggests using lactose-free milk for cooking.

      I also read that lactose-free milk tends to be ultra-pasteurized.


      1. Lactaid tables (or the generic equivalent) have Lactase Enzyme, which acts on the milk in your stomach.

        In Lactaid milk, the enzyme has already done its job of breaking down the lactose. It is 'lactose free' milk.

        Depending on the degree of your intolerance, you might be able to use regular milk, or milk products, in moderation in cooking and baking. The concentration of dairy in most baked goods is rarely as strong was when milk is used straight. You might tolerate cultured milk (yogurt, buttermilk) where the bacteria have already acted on the lactose.

        Also, few, if any baked goods (or sauces) depend on the presence of lactose. Sometimes plain water works fine, other times any of the milk-substitutes will do (just be ware of how sweet they are).

        1 Reply
        1. re: paulj

          I agree, the lactose has already been hydrolyzed by the enzyme.

        2. It kind of doesn't matter, since it has done it's job of breaking down the lactose within 24 hours after having been introduced to the milk.

          1. Also note that non dairy milks like soymilk, almond milk, coconut milk, etc... Can be used for cooking and baking in place of dairy milk.

            Some people who are lactose intolerant also have issues with digesting milk protein of any kind- in which case even lactose free dairy milk will still cause symptoms.

            1. Lactaid says bluntly you can cook with it. So you're good.

              1. I've used lactose-free milk (which isn't really lactose free), and also soy milk in baked goods and never noticed any difference in the final product.

                1 Reply
                1. re: JoyM

                  I frequently use soy milk for baking... Just make sure it's unsweetened soy milk!

                2. Great question but with so many alternative milks on the market, I'd just steer away from lactose free milk completely. Soy milk and almond milk are great alternatives to use in cooking and then you don't have to worry about the whether the lactase will breakdown and make the milk difficult for you to digest again. The other thing to watch is milk-proteins - a lot of people who are lactose intolerant also have difficulty digesting milk protein which means that lactose free milk isn't really going to sit well with you either. I've never had any problems cooking with soy or almond milk. Here's a little more info some different milks if you'd like it...http://theallergykid.com/2014/06/19/l...

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: TheAllergyKid

                    I agree with the allergy kid. I found that while I can tolerate the lactose free milk more than I can tolerate regular milk, it still gives me stomach aches. While putting soy/almond/rice milk in your coffee/tea is an acquired taste, you really can't taste any difference in baked goods, so why make yourself sick?

                  2. I know this is an old thread but lactaid milk doesn't work quite the way you think it does... when they're packaging it, they add the lactase enzyme and it does its work right there in the factory breaking down the lactose for you. The lactose can't come back again once it's been digested by the enzymes, so you can use it however you want...

                    1. I only use almond milk for baking (besides every day use for meals and cereal and so forth).. and even while baking from scratch, with yeast, I have never had an issue.

                      9 Replies
                      1. re: GraceW

                        Plain water will work just as well as almond milk. Almond milk is just water with a handful of ground almonds.


                        1. re: paulj

                          Oh good, money saved. I wrongly assumed you couldn't just replace milk in recipes (especially breads and cakes) with water.

                          1. re: GraceW

                            Crazy cake is a classic that breaks our usual intuitions about what is needed in cake (no eggs or milk)


                            1. re: paulj

                              Do you replace the oil with anything? Applesauce?

                              1. re: GraceW

                                Use the oil, it gives the cake moisture and it needs the little bit of fat (1/4c divided by 9 servings is about 50cal or so from the oil- just jog in place while mixing ;)

                          2. re: paulj

                            Odd. I'm pretty sure it's illegal to be a hipster, here in Arizona. But, I've seen almond milk at several grocery stores.

                            1. re: johnseberg

                              Almond milk is so yesterdays-fad :) Now it's coconut milk (made by diluting canned coconut milk) or even coconut water.

                              I like to use the almond meal that Trader Joes sells (also their cashew meal).

                              1. re: paulj

                                I'm a little confused.... You like the almond meal in general or you like it to make almond milk with it...??

                                1. re: Ttrockwood

                                  I just substitute the meal for part of the flour.