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Chr. Hansen’s new test kit measures lactose in dairy products

The fast-growing lactose-free dairy market creates opportunities for innovation and product diversification. Meanwhile, retailers demand more documentation, which challenges dairy manufacturers to control and verify lactose concentration across all dairy segments.

Chr. Hansen, global bioscience company developing natural solutions for the food and beverage industries, says its new lactose biosensor test kit can determine lactose concentration in all dairy products, including those with added flavours, vitamins, fruits and sugars.

Lactose is a natural sugar found in milk and milk products. As not all humans can easily digest lactose, the dairy industry has developed low-lactose or lactose-free milk-based alternatives. This sector is definitely on the rise – according to Statista, Global Market value of lactose-free dairy products reached US$10.6bn in 2017 and is set to reach US$17.8bn by 2027.

Chr. Hansen is responding to this market growth with the launch of its second-generation lactose biosensor test kit: the LactoSensR. The kit allows for quick and robust documentation of low lactose or lactose-free claims for every batch.

To use the kit, dairy manufacturers create a sample preparation using a LactoSensR dilution. The preparation is then piped onto the LactoSensR sensor, explains Chr. Hansen’s Commerical Development Manager, Ole Madsen. “It takes about 50 seconds to have a result. The protocol is very easy.”

When compared to the first generation LactoSens, Madesn continues, “the specificity of the test has increased – if you had a product containing coffee or chocolate, (the first-generation test) couldn’t really reliably measure the lactose content. With the second generation, we can.”

Chr. Hansen describes this element as being ‘interference free,’ meaning that lactose measurements are not impeded by the addition of vitamins, sugars, or fruit. The test kit can be applied to a vast range of dairy products, including white mass and finished products, and can detect lactose levels as low as 0.008%. LactoSensR is certified by third-party test kit body NordVal International.

“LactoSenR enables dairy manufacturers to determine and document lactose concentrations accurately across all lactose-free and low lactose dairy products. This is a sought-after improvement to our Test and Equipment range and a great aid to customers’ dairy production,” says Ole Madsen, Commercial Development Manager at Ch. Hansen.

Furthermore, the test kit will help dairy manufacturers sell lactose-free and low-lactose products in-store, the Danish company explains. Increasingly, dairies are required to submit documentation to retailers, to ensure individual batches are indeed lactose-free, Madsen adds. “Dairies want to document that what they put on the label is factually correct.”

LactoSenR is proven to be robust and resilient and covers an expanded application range, aiding dairy manufacturers in determining the lactose concentration in a vast range of lactose-free and low lactose products – even in the presence of fruit preps and added flavours.

“With our first biosensor assay kit, LactoSens, we had a world-class lactose test kit for white mass dairy products. Now, with LactoSenR, dairy manufacturers will also receive a high-precision measurement of lactose concentrations in finished products, including those with coffee and chocolate,” explains Madsen.

“This is good news for existing LactoSenR users and new LactoSenR customers. You receive an upgraded test kit for the same price, using the same protocol, but with better features and product applicability.”

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