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Thursday, October 09, 2008

Water Buffalo Milk Isn't Low Lactose Either

You'll be happy to know that I've managed to restrain myself from posting a correction each and every single time somebody promoting goat's milk makes the false statement that it's low in lactose. None of them ever say what their source might be, but not a single list of lactose percentages I've seen backs them up.

Here we go again. This time it's water buffalo milk.

Ben Muessig of the Brooklyn Paper had this quote in an article on organic food farmers.

"Water buffalo is lower in fat and cholesterol than beef, and the dairy is low in lactose," said Frank Abballe, whose company, Bufala di Vermont, sells buffalo mozzarella.

True, Mozzarella di Bufala Campana is traditional Italian cheese made by water buffalo milk.

Is the cheese low lactose? Could be. Most aged cheeses are, no matter the source of their milk. Mozzarella di bufala is not aged as other cheese but has an unusual manufacturing process, so I can't be sure of the lactose value in the final product.

But the milk itself? Check the link above. Another name for the water buffalo is the carabao and that is a percentage I give. I'll save you from bothering to click over. Carabao is 4.3% lactose. Cow's milk can range from 3.7 to 5.1% lactose, although most milk in the U.S. is around 5%. So water buffalo milk may be slightly lower in lactose but not significantly so. I certainly wouldn't call it a low lactose product.

Next animal, please.

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10 comments:

Anonymous said...

The yogurt which Frank was referring to but was cut off is actually very low in lactose due to the high volume of live probiotic cultures in the product.

Anonymous said...

Your an idoit... goat milk has sucrose or glucose... I don't remember which - however there is no lactose. They have a different kind of milk sugar. Source... a violently lactose intolerant goat farmer

Steve Carper said...

After I finished laughing - a very long time - I Googled goat milk composition. The very first hit was Dairy Goat Milk Composition (http://drinc.ucdavis.edu/goat1.htm) from the University of California at Davis. It says:

Lactose is the major free carbohydrate that has been identified in the milk of the goat, though small amounts of inositol are also found.

No glucose. No sucrose. And when they say small amounts of inositol, they mean small: the amount of inositol is about 220 mg/liter; the amount of lactose is about 50,000 mg/liter.

You are free to Google as many other academic sites as you wish for confirmation.

Anonymous said...

Yogurt actually doesn't contain less lactose but it does contain the probiotics to help digest the lactose that is in there. Also, it is correct that water buffalo does contain lactose!! So thanks for telling people the fact on this!

Anonymous said...

You might want to check your spelling before calling someone an idiot...

flyingpumpkin said...

Milk all has lactose
Glucose + galactose = lactose. Violently “idiotttic” statement GOAT MILK HAS LACTOSE

flyingpumpkin said...

Yogurt contains lactose. Very little of it is broken down

Unknown said...

You’re all misinformed. Water buffalo milk contains the same amount of lactose as cows milk. What makes buffalo milk unique and easy to digest is that it contains Lactase, the enzyme that breaks down lactose. It also aids in the digestion of casein protein. I am a water buffalo dairy farmer.

Unknown said...

Buffalo milk contains lactase, an enzyme that breaks down lactose. Also the higher the protein in yogurt, the easier to digest. Greek yogurt is the best for this.

Steve Carper said...

Lori Smith, I would need to see some scientific backing for the statement that water buffalo milk contains lactase. I've been studying this for 30 years and have never seen any examination of buffalo milk composition that included lactase.