Value-added lactose free dairy processing


Consumers all over the world are increasingly interested in the health benefits of the foods they consume, and nutritional experts recommend dairy products as a corner stone of a healthy diet. However, two thirds of the world’s population cannot digest lactose and experience digestive discomfort after lactose-rich meals. On this background, the growth rate for lactose free dairy products is now soaring, offering major opportunities for dairy processors to include lactose free products in their portfolio.

The global health and wellness trend has brought the issue of food intolerances and allergies into focus, and more consumers are resorting to lactose free products, which they perceive as healthier in general. To support the growth of lactose free dairy products, Tetra Pak offers new possibilities based on combined expertise in dairy and membrane filtration technology.

Efficient technologies combined

In addition to our existing production concepts for lactose free milk Tetra Pak now offers a new, state-of-the-art process. The premium process from Tetra Pak Filtration Solutions for lactose free milk is based on pressure driven separation technology, where membrane filtration is the key technology for exclusion of certain milk components by using microfiltration, nanofiltration, and ultrafiltration in combination with enzymatic hydrolysis and heat treatment. 

Enhanced value-adding

This patent pending process offers not one, but TWO value-added streams: a lactose free milk drink with taste and composition very close to natural milk, and a value-added secondary product stream consisting of protein and lactose, which can be recovered. The process requires no addition of non-dairy components except for lactase that hydrolyses the lactose remaining after membrane filtration into glucose and galactose.


  • Value-added secondary product stream
  • Taste, sweetness and composition of the lactose free product is very similar to natural milk
  • Possibility to tailor product composition
  • Flexible choice of post-treatment (hydrolysis and pasteurization)

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