The Lactose Intolerance Clearinghouse Has Moved.

My old website can be found at www.stevecarper.com/li I am no longer updating the site, so there will be dead links. The static information provided by me is still sound.

For quick offline reference, you can purchase Planet Lactose: The Best of the Blog as an ebook on Smashwords.com or Amazon.com or BarnesandNoble.com or a whole lot of other places that Smashwords is suppose to distribute the book to. Almost 100,000 words on LI, allergies, milk products, milk-free products, and the genetics of intolerance, along with large helpings of the weirdness that is the Net.

I suffer the universal malady of spam and adbots, so I moderate comments here. That may mean you'll see a long lag before I remember to check the site and approve them. Despite the gap, you'll always get your say. I read every single one, and every legitimate one gets posted.


Sunday, June 26, 2005

Is There Lactose in Wine?

I don't get too many questions these days that stump me, but one asking whether lactose was used as a fining agent in wine made me blink.

Fining agent? What's that?

Some Googling told me that fining agents are substances added to wine to bond to particles that can affect a wine's color, flavor, and stability. The particles and fining agent sink to the bottom of the container and can be easily removed from the wine.

A million different fining agents are used by various people and for various reasons. However, lactose doesn't seem to be one of them.

That's the good news.

Some people do use the milk protein casein as a fining agent, however. Technically, since casein doesn't dissolve well in water, they used it in the form of potassium or sodium caseinate. But as I explain in my The Experts Speak page, neither caseinate contains lactose.

And not even those with milk allergies should worry. The European Union has recently declared that the use of casein as a fining agent presents such a low risk that it need not be mentioned even under their new, stricter allergen labeling laws. Whey used in distillates for spirits does not need to be mentioned either. The bureaucratic details are available in this pdf.

Vegans do consider this an animal-based item, however. There are vegan wines guaranteed not to use animal-derived products available and are easily found online.

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7 comments:

villavengore said...

Another one for you - does the use of lactose as a sweetener (ie non fermentable) in wine cause a similar problem?

So cheap French sweet wines might be off the list!

Anonymous said...

Wine invariably contains malic acid which converts to lactose during fermentation. Thus, there is lactose to be found in wine, though it's not of animal origin.

Steve Carper said...

No, sorry. Malic acid converts to lactic acid, which is a totally different thing and of no concern to those with lactose intolerance.

Anonymous said...

i seem to getting a strong reaction similar to reacting to lactose when i drink an australian reisling wine(yalumba) the label says it contains milk products. which i read after I drank it

Steve Carper said...

Were any milk products specifically mentioned? If so, which ones?

Anonymous said...

I contacted yalumba, they said they were fining the wine with milk power, so it is quite possible that there was lactose in the wine, in there defence next year they said they are going vegan with there wines
leon

Anonymous said...

I drank two glasses of the Australian 'Willing Participant's Pinot Noir and hives started forming last night have woken up with red swollen eyes, I look as though I've been punched.
I am wheat and severely lactose intolerant. I didn't know that milk was used in the process of making wine, but this is a bad reaction for me, though I don't get this from all wines.
Nothing on the label reports on any allergens so I cannot be 100% but it is the only 'new thing' I consumed last night.
I wish they would label these things better.