Lactose Intolerance

Did you know that 30 million Americans are lactose intolerant. As an owner, operator or employee of a frozen yogurt store it is important for you to understand what that means and how you can provide products for people with lactose intolerance.

What is Lactose?

Lactose is a milk sugar found in many dairy products.

What is Lactose Intolerance?

A deficiency in the body of a natural enzyme called lactase, which can cause symptoms of gas, bloating and diarrhea when foods with lactose are eaten. Lactase is needed to fully digest lactose, a sugar found mainly in dairy products. Lactose intolerance can cause severe discomfort, but is not life threatening.

How is Lactose Intolerance different from Milk Allergies?

A milk allergy is when the immune system overacts to a protein in milk and attacks dairy like it is a harmful invader. It is most common in infants and young children. Symptoms can range from hives to anaphylactic shock. A severe allergic reaction can be life threatening and is very different from lactose intolerance.

Is lactose intolerance very common?

Yes. About 65% of people worldwide have some degree of lactose intolerance. Here is a breakdown for a few geographic regions/ethnicities:

  • Asia: 80%
  • Africa: 70-90%
  • Southern India: 70%
  • Northern India: 30%
  • France: 17-65%
  • Germany: 15%
  • England: 5-15%

How do you treat lactose intolerance?

Many people can handle a small amount of dairy and be fine – like 8-12 ounces of milk. For those that experience the symptoms listed above, the immediate solution is to reduce the amount of lactose in the diet. There is not currently a cure. But there are commercially available enzyme substitutes. There are also many products available that don’t contain dairy or lactose, like Nanci’s new non-dairy soft serve mixes.

Nanci’s Non-Dairy Soft Serve

Nanci’s offers a line of non-dairy soft serve mixes that include:

  • Fruit Freezer Sorbet – a neutral base that can use most of Nanci’s flavor concentrates. The sorbet mix is colder and icier than regular soft serve.
  • Non-Dairy Vanilla Soft Serve – a creamy, vanilla/neutral base. Most of Nanci’s flavors can be added to this base.
  • Non-Dairy Vegan Chocolate Soft Serve – can be served without flavoring for a rich chocolate or can be used with many of the Nanci’s flavorings. This base contains no animal products and so it is a vegan mix.

Nanci’s non-dairy mixes contain PowerPro Active Cultures that provide all the health benefits of regular yogurt but without the dairy.

Sources:

http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/lactoseintolerance/; http://milk.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=000661; http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/tech/science/2009-08-30-lactose-intolerance_N.htm; http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/lactose-intolerance/DS00530; http://inhealth.cnn.com/digestive-health-center/10-things-to-know-about-lactose-intolerance/

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