To make the new product, special production processes were implemented including additional cleaning of the production lines to eliminate any lactose contamination during the production process.
Lactose accounts for about 5% of whole milk and is found in most fresh dairy products. Up to 70% of adults worldwide are affected by lactose intolerance, according to figures from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) in its 2010 study: 'Scientific Opinion on lactose thresholds in lactose intolerance and galactosaemia'.
Lactose-intolerant people do not have a sufficient amount of the lactase enzyme, which normally splits lactose into two moieties: glucose and galactose before absorption.
According to the EFSA study, the most important markets for lactose-free food products are Germany, Austria, the UK and the Scandinavian markets (mainly Finland), despite the fact that less than 20% of the population in these countries is lactose intolerant.
The frequency of lactose intolerance is much higher in southern European countries, Africa and Asia, which offers further market potential.