And now for something really off the wall…

Why is it that Lactose free milk products have a HUGE shelf life compared to their “normal” milk products?

Why is that?  I’ve wondered why and recently that came up at the office and no one knew the answer.  No that isn’t a water cooler topic around the office, we actually had a case involving a Dairy and the lunch time conversation that started regarding the case sort of went off into a tangent about why Lactose free milk has a much longer “Milk must be sold by” date than normal milk.

No one knew the answer why… is it in the Lactose free processing part?

Discuss amongst yourselves…. let me know if you determine why.  (or you can argue the merits of Paris Hilton’s jail term…whatever strikes your fancy tonight if reruns on TV aren’t enough entertainment for you)

4 Thoughts on “And now for something really off the wall…

  1. Howie on June 7, 2007 at 11:27 pm said:

    …. organic milk has a much longer life too! I just switched; too many thrown away 1/2 gallon & quart containers.

  2. I don’t know about organic milk, but I think in the case of Lactaid (which we use) it’s because they do a higher level of pasteurization. From their FAQ: “LACTAID® Milk is ultra pasteurized, a process which allows the milk to last longer under proper refrigeration. Ultra pasteurization does not affect the taste or nutritional value of the milk. Once opened, LACTAID® Milk should be consumed within one week for the best taste. “

  3. Daren on June 8, 2007 at 9:10 am said:

    I believe it’s because the milk sugars (lactose) have been removed. This is what gives problems to people who don’t have the enzymes present in their gut to digest milk sugars. I would guess that since the milk sugar (lactose) has been removed, there is less “food” for naturally occurring bacteria that reside in milk products. Less food for the bacteria = less bacteria or slower growing/multiplying bacteria = longer shelf life/delayed spoiling. Of course there could be no single right answer. It may be a combination of the “Ultra Pasteurization” (earlier post) and the lack of or reduction of food for bacteria or other factors not mentioned yet. All just a guess…

  4. M Frahm on June 8, 2007 at 4:10 pm said:

    I’d wager it’s the ultra pasteurization, as there’s a brand of chocolate milk here (not lactose-free) that has a much longer shelf life due to ultra pasteurization.

    It seems to make sense economically in the case of specialty milks, because the retailer doesn’t have to replenish unsold, spoiled milk so often if it has a longer shelf life.

    Regular milk moves more quickly, so the incentive probably isn’t as great.

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