Lactose in processed foods: evaluating the availability of information regarding its amount

Raíssa Aparecida Borges Batista Dyessa Cardoso Bernardes Assunção Fernanda Rodrigues de Oliveira Penaforte Camila Cremonezi Japur About the authors

Abstract

Patients with lactose intolerance, a high prevalence disease, should control the intake of food with lactose to avoid gastrointestinal symptoms. Since tolerance depends on the amount of lactose ingested, it is essential to discuss the availability of the amount of lactose information in processed foods, which is currently not mandatory. The study measured the availability of information on the amount of lactose on the labels of processed food that contained milk or lactose in the ingredient list. Then, we contacted the food industry to request this information. We evaluated 1,209 processed foods, of which 1,092 were traditional and 117 were diet/light/zero. Only 3,1% of the analyzed foods provided information on the amount of lactose in the labeled nutrition table. This information was more available in the diet/light/zero food group. Furthermore, of the 156 contacted companies, only 14 reported the amount of lactose contained in foods, 93 answered the request, but have not provided the amounts and 49 did not answer the request. We concluded that there is a low availability of information about the amount of lactose in processed foods.

Lactose; Lactose intolerance; Consumer rights; Nutrition labeling

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