Because of spam, I personally moderate all comments left on my blog. However, because of health issues, I will not be able to do so in the future.

If you have a personal question about LI or any related topic you can send me an email at I will try to respond.

Otherwise, this blog is now a legacy site, meaning that I am not updating it any longer. The basic information about LI is still sound. However, product information and weblinks may be out of date.

In addition, my old website, Planet Lactose, has been taken down because of the age of the information. Unfortunately, that means links to the site on this blog will no longer work.

For quick offline reference, you can purchase Planet Lactose: The Best of the Blog as an ebook on or 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.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Pioneering Dairy Researcher Dies

"The next time you pick up a carton of low-lactose milk or reduced-fat mozzarella cheese at the grocery store, you are holding the result of Virginia H. Holsinger's research. She also developed a shortening used in baked goods and created a low-lactose powdered milk used in military field rations."

That's from a fascinating obituary by Patricia Sullivan in the Washington Post.

Dr. Holsinger, the former head of the dairy products research unit of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service in Wyndmoor, Pa., developed the enzyme treatment that makes milk digestible by people with lactose intolerance, research that resulted in the commercial product Lactaid. ...

Virginia H. Holsinger was born in Washington and graduated from Washington-Lee High School in Arlington County. She received a bachelor's degree in chemistry from the College of William and Mary in 1958 and a doctorate in food science and nutrition from Ohio State University in 1980.

She started her research career as an analytical chemist with the USDA Agricultural Research Service's dairy products laboratory in Washington and transferred in 1974 to the Eastern Regional Research Center in Pennsylvania, where she stayed until her retirement in 1999. ...

Dr. Holsinger wrote or co-wrote more than 100 scientific papers and received multiple awards from agricultural and food chemistry organizations, as well as the Women in Science and Engineering Lifetime Achievement Award in 1997.

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