Have you tried different varieties of lactose free milk in the past and noticed that the flavor is not exactly like regular milk? Did this make you wonder, “why does lactose free milk taste different?”
Now, it is certainly possible that the beverages you tried were also dairy-free and not made with cow’s milk at all. For example, nut and plant-based “milks” can have a very unique flavor profile compared to real dairy milk. However, dairy-based lactose free milk tastes different than regular cow’s milk, as well.
What Does Lactose Free Milk Taste Like?
As we talked about in our earlier blog post comparing the differences between regular and lactose free milk from dairy cows, lactose free milk tends to taste a bit sweeter. That is, when it is processed using the most ideal pasteurization method, known as HTST (or High Temperature Short Time). If it’s instead processed with UHT (Ultra High Temperature) pasteurization that some of our competitors use, the milk can, unfortunately, taste burnt.
To recap our earlier post—as well as our fun infographic about how our Kreider Farms lactose free milk is made—the sweeter lactose free milk taste you may notice has to do with how lactose (milk sugar) is broken down as milk is processed prior to bottling.
Why Does Lactose Free Milk Taste Sweet?
The science is a bit complex behind how the lactase enzyme—which people with lactose intolerance lack in their bodies—breaks down lactose into its simple sugar components of galactose and glucose. However, this sugar breakdown reaction is what we utilize during milk processing to neutralize the natural lactose and create our lactose free milk.
Lactose Breakdown ChartOnce lactose has been broken down, the flavors of the simplified sugars become more prominent, which equals a sweeter overall taste. (And this sweeter taste means our lactose free ice cream has a flavor more like traditional soft-serve!)
Does Lactose Free Milk Have A Different Texture?
Compared to other dairy milk, lactose free cow’s milk is not that noticeably different in texture. If you are used to traditional skim or nonfat milk, you may find lactose free milk to be a bit creamier.
Lactose free dairy milk, however, can be much different in texture versus dairy-free milk alternatives like soy, almond, or rice “milk.” It all depends on what you are most used to drinking.
Creamy Lactose Free Dairy Milk is Best for Baking
One significant point worth noting about lactose free milk’s texture is how its natural creaminess is better for baking and cooking than milk alternatives. Your blueberry muffins, cheesecake, and other recipes that call for milk and other dairy products will simply turn out better when you use lactose free REAL dairy milk!