Lactose-free – we've all heard of it and seen the labels appearing on foods, not least because of widespread lactose intolerance worldwide. So it's unsurprising that lactose-free versions of increasing numbers of products are reaching the market. If you see a fully Swiss product that contains lactose-free milk powder, you can be sure it comes from HOCHDORF: we are the only company in Switzerland to produce lactose-free milk powder. A look at the production process shows the added value is not confined to the lactose removal. The secret is in the taste.


Maybe you know what happens when you eat a piece of bread - the longer you chew it, the sweeter it tastes. It's a natural process involving the carbohydrates in the bread. Carbohydrates are just chains of sugar molecules of different lengths attached to each other, which our saliva breaks down into simple sugars as we chew.  And simple sugars have the property of tasting particularly sweet.

Score twice with lactose-free protein and skimmed milk powder

Lactose Free Icon

It's a split just like this that takes place in the production of lactose-free milk powder: the lactose contained in the liquid milk is split into the individual components of glucose and galactose by adding the enzyme lactase. As a result, the powder itself tastes sweeter. HOCHDORF has been using lactose-free, roller-dried milk powder for its chocolate industry customers for a long time. Thanks to the productive teamwork between the development and production departments, HOCHDORF is now also able to offer its customers spray-dried, lactose-free skimmed milk powder and protein powder.

The latter is increasingly popular in the field of sports nutrition. Conventional protein powder has the characteristic of not tasting particularly good. The higher the protein content of the powder, the less pleasant the taste. Producers of sports nutrition can score twice by using lactose-free protein powder: the taste of their produce improves – without adding sugar or sweeteners – and the products can be labelled "lactose-free".

HOCHDORF is the only company in Switzerland producing lactose-free milk powder.

Lactose-free skimmed milk powder offers the same benefits and is used in a wide variety of foods, including muesli and biscuit production. In the Baby Care division, HOCHDORF also produces a lactose-free specialist infant formula. HOCHDORF has imported the lactose-free skimmed powder for this product from abroad for many years. Thanks to in-house development and production, the specialist formula can now be produced more sustainably and with Swiss milk. Both the protein and the skimmed milk powder have a high functional added value for industry customers and consumers. HOCHDORF is thus expanding its range in the "Smart Nutrition" sector.

Intensive development work produces a high-quality product

Laktose Spaltung-neu

The development of the various lactose-free milk powders was preceded in each case by a long development phase. To split the lactose, the liquid milk mixture is placed in a tank with the enzyme lactase for a specific time and at a set temperature. As soon as the lactase meets the lactose, the splitting begins. The biggest challenge was finding the right time and temperature combination. The mixture also had to meet the statutory limits around the splitting process and be easy to process further.

Drying process challenges

As the liquid mixture was processed further, there were additional challenges to overcome for each drying process. Burnt powder particles during the development phase were an issue for roller-dried powder. The lactose splitting meant the concentrate contained more simple sugar, which can burn when it comes into direct contact with the hot rollers – just like adding sugar to a hot pan. This problem was resolved thanks to effective optimisation work carried out in production.

Lactose-free protein and skimmed milk powders are spray-dried and subject to different production processes, which led to another set of challenges. In spray drying, the high content of simple sugars can clog the nozzles in some spray drying towers. The powder is also more susceptible to water absorption, with a tendency to form lumps. Our development and production staff were able to pool their expertise and work together to overcome these production challenges.

The development of the various lactose-free milk powders was preceded in each case by a long development phase.

Hochdorf can now offer its customers a wide range of lactose-free milk powders – in the highest quality and made from the best Swiss milk. As well as supporting food manufacturers, end consumers who value delicious-tasting lactose-free products also benefit.

New in our range – lactose-free protein and skimmed milk powder

HOCHDORF's chocolate-industry customers have used lactose-free roller-dried powder for a long time. Extensive development work in recent months now means HOCHDORF can also offer its customers lactose-free skimmed milk and protein powder, expanding its Smart Nutrition range.

Our lactose-free milk powder range:

  • Protein powderHOCHDORF-Milchpulvervielfalt-EN
  • Skimmed milk powder
  • Whole milk powder
    LEDOR 26 W LA
    LEDOR 26 W LA Bio
    LEDOR 35 W LF
    LEDOR 26-4 W CB LA Bio
    LEDOR 26-4 W CB LA

Further information

Kohlenhydrate; Schweizerische Gesellschaft für Ernährung (2015) Präsentationstitel Untertitel (sge-ssn.ch), https://www.t-online.de/leben/alltagswissen/id_89503548/warum-schmeckt-brot-suess-wenn-man-es-laenger-kaut-.html

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