The innovation provides a means of removing lactose from milk without altering the flavour of the milk or requiring laborious processing.
Lactose intolerance (also known as hypolactasia) is a condition that affects approximately 70% of the world’s population. It is caused by the inability to digest lactose due to the down-regulation of the enzyme lactase. Milk contains 4-6 g lactose/100 ml, but because it provides a very rich source of calcium and vitamin C, lactose-free milk and milk products are in high demand. The present innovation describes using a tethered lactose-binding protein to bind lactose in milk and facilitate its subsequent removal.
Manufacturers of dairy products
Given the high demand for lactose free products, this technology has considerable potential for application in the dairy industry. The innovation provides a means of removing lactose from milk without altering the flavour of the milk or requiring laborious processing.
The traditional method of eliminating lactose in milk involves adding lactase or beta-galactosidase enzyme to the milk. These enzymes hydrolyse the lactose into its constituent sugars: galactose and glucose. These sugars are sweeter in taste than lactose and give the milk an unsatisfactory flavour. The present innovation circumvents this problem by removing lactose from milk.
The present innovation describes using a modified beta-galactosidase protein tethered to a solid support which is able to bind molecules of lactose and enable their removal from milk or any other lactosecontaining solution. The removal of lactose from the solution is carried out in a simple two-step process and does not alter the flavour of the milk.
A PCT Application No: PCT/IB2015/050618 has been filled.