The Differences Between Regular and Lactose-Free Dairy Milk


Truth time: the title of today’s post may be a little misleading. When properly processed, there are actually few differences—in health benefits and general overall quality—between lactose-free and traditional dairy milk from cows!

Of course, lactose-free milk has drastically reduced levels of milk sugar (aka lactose), which makes it suitable for many with lactose intolerance. But, farm fresh lactose-free milk tastes delicious and contains all the nutrition of regular milk!

If you love milk—in recipes, on breakfast cereal, in your morning coffee, or just as a nutritious beverage on its own—a farm fresh, lactose-free version may allow you to enjoy milk again without intestinal distress, pain, and discomfort. That’s a win-win in our book.

Today’s post dives a little deeper into what sets lactose-free dairy milk apart from traditional cow’s milk, and more specifically, what makes our Kreider Farms Lactose Free Milk the best possible variety of lactose-free milk available now.

Lactose-Free Farm Fresh Milk is Healthy, REAL Milk!

It’s true that not all lactose-free milk is created equal. First, not all dairy-based types come from cows. And, some versions are not dairy—but plant-based—which means they don’t come from animals at all.

Depending on your dietary concerns and priorities, you may want to choose a non-dairy beverage as a milk replacement product, but many Americans who are living lactose free would rather substitute traditional milk with something just as wholesome and nutritionally complete.

Truly farm fresh lactose-free milk is the answer! How?

  • It comes from cows—not sheep or goats like other “lactose friendly” dairy milks, which tend to have a distinct, “farmy” or “goaty” taste that not everyone likes.
  • Unlike plant-based drinks that sometimes call themselves “milk,” farm fresh lactose-free milk is a real dairy product with all the protein, vitamins, and minerals you expect from milk. It’s good for bone and heart health and contains complete proteins.

Here at Kreider Farms, our healthy and real lactose-free milk has a further benefit. It is locally produced and distributed on a smaller scale—sourced only from our family farms in Southcentral Pennsylvania instead of from a large network of providers scattered across multiple regions and states. This allows us to carefully control quality in ways others can’t.

Pasteurization and Processing Methods

There are different ways that lactose-free dairy milk is processed, which can affect flavor and shelf life.

First, all lactose-free milk goes through pasteurization—just as traditional dairy milk does. This can be either an HTST (High Temperature Short Time) process or an Ultra/UHT (Ultra High Temperature) process. Both methods have some advantages, but UHT can help extend shelf life so that milk can be safely shipped over very long distances.

Note: Kreider Farms does not use UHT because we’re dedicated to “locavore” principles. We believe that unnaturally extended shelf life for milk negatively affects consumers’ experience with that product by affecting quality.

Lactose-free milk further goes through a conversion process in which the enzyme lactase breaks down the natural lactose milk sugar into the more-digestible galactose and glucose. This alters the flavor of the milk a bit, but in a way that many people find pleasing.

Overall Flavor Profiles

Did you know that both the lactose reduction processing and pasteurization can change the taste of milk?

Converting lactose into galactose and glucose lends a sweeter flavor to the milk overall, as these simplified sugars shine through more noticeably. However, if lactose-free milk is pasteurized using UHT, it can sometimes taste “burnt”—the ultra-high temperature cooking process can totally obscure the naturally sweet flavor of the broken down lactose.

So, while you are less likely to experience digestion discomfort and pain with UHT lactose-free dairy milk (like Lactaid), you’re sacrificing good taste when you don’t have to!

Because our HTST pasteurization process is less extreme, you will be able to enjoy the naturally sweet flavor of farm fresh lactose-free milk without experiencing any unpleasant burned notes. And that’s even better news for ice cream lovers—our Kreider Farms Premium Lactose Free Ice Cream—made with our own delicious, HTST pasteurized milk is creamy, sweet, and tastes just like your favorite traditional soft serve!

Try Kreider Farms Lactose Free Dairy Products for Yourself!

If “eating local” and supporting family farming right here in Lancaster County is important to you, we can help you also keep to your lactose-free diet with premium, farm fresh options. Don’t settle for the big national brands who sacrifice quality and taste for a wider distribution range when you can eat well much closer to home!

Shop our Kreider Farms Lactose Free Milk and Ice Cream throughout Central PA, now.

And don’t forget your coupons!