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May 7, 2014 07:01 PM

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.