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Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Finlandia Lactose-Free Cheese

The good people over at Valio Ltd. make lactose-free Finlandia Cheese, imported from Finland.

They even go so far as to explain their process:

The statement below explains the microbiological phenomenon that causes Finlandia Cheeses to be lactose free. Traces of lactose may be found in Havarti cheese, but levels are well below the limit accepted for a lactose-free claim.
    Finlandia Swiss cheese is manufactured from milk which is coagulated by heat and microbial rennet. After coagulation the cheese is fermented with a souring agent containing lactobacilli, Streptococcus thermophilus and propionic acid bacteria. Within 24 hours, these bacteria break down the lactose into galactose and glucose. These are fermented further to lactic acid. Lactic acid is then fermented to acetic acid, propionic acid and carbon dioxide so that Finlandia Swiss does not contain lactose or any other carbohydrates.

    Finlandia Muenster, Gouda and Havarti cheeses are manufactured from milk which is coagulated by heat and microbial rennet. After coagulation the cheeses are fermented with a souring agent containing lactococci and lactobacilli. Within 24 hours, these bacteria break down the lactose into galactose and glucose. These are fermented further to lactic acid. Therefore these Finlandia cheeses do not contain lactose or any other carbohydrates.

    There are no international regulations to determine "lactose free". Valio Ltd is using "lactose free"- claim, when lactose cannot be found in the product (f. ex. cheese). Valio is using the best possible method (ion chromatographic method) to analyze lactose. The resolution for the method is 0,01%, which means that we can find 100 ppm (parts per million) of lactose from cheese. So, when we are calling cheese as lactose free, it contains less than 100 ppm lactose. Sometimes it is possible to find very small amounts (100 -200 ppm) of lactose from havarti type cheese. For example, normal semi skimmed pasteurized milk contains about 5% of lactose (50000 ppm).


The cheese page gives the varieties. The Swiss comes in regular and light, with 50% less fat; there's regular Muenster and Oltermanni Baby Muenster; the Sandwich Naturals are available in Muenster, Finlandia Swiss, Oltermanni, Heavenly Light Swiss, Havarti, and Gouda; and the Finlandia Naturals Deli Sticks in Muenster, Finlandia Swiss, Heavenly Light Swiss, Havarti, and Gouda.

Since the Viola and Lappi are not mentioned in the lactose free section, I would assume that they're made with a different process.

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1 comment:

alan said...

Steve,

Great site. I wish more people would wake up to their own LI so that we could induce manufactures to make most of their products lactose free.

Just a note on Finlndia Muenster, you have to get the imported. The domestic slices they sell in Costco are not lactose free.