I dearly miss yogurt and cream cheese (and more) since becoming lactose intolerant. Can I make yogurt from LactAid milk?
Even a lactose malabsorber should be able to consume 6 ounces of regular yogurt with a meal without experiencing symptoms of bloating, flatulence, or diarrhea. Seldom does a person fail to produce any beta-galactosidase (lactase).
However you can make yogurt from lactose-reduced milk. The yogurt culture can do just fine with the glucose and galactose of that milk. The product may be runny because the solids content is low compared to the solids in normal yogurt which may be 14-16 percent compared to 12 percent in normal milk.
If you use lowfat milk, the solids are even lower. You can add instant nonfat dry milk, but that increases the lactose. Another ingredient missing is stabilizer. Yogurt manufacturers add this component to tie up some of the moisture. You could use Knox gelatin as a stabilizer. To dissolve the gelatin, milk should be heated to about 150 degrees F and the gelatin needs to be dispersed by mixing it with the sugar that would be added to sweeten the yogurt if it is to be flavored. As most of us know, gelatin is difficult to disperse so it will dissolve readily.
LactAid type milk is completely safe. There is little lactose in cream cheese and none in ripened cheeses such as Cheddar and Swiss. However, pizza cheeses do contain some lactose since they are not ripened for a very long time.
Answered by Robert T. Marshall, Professor Emeritus of Food Science, University of Missouri-Columbia
Last update: Friday, December 12, 2008