Lactose and raclette cheese
What is lactose?
It's the sugar milk composed of galactose and glucose. It is found naturally in the milk of mammals. Normally, an enzyme we have in the body, lactase, breaks down lactose in the small intestine, to allow absorption from the intestine into the blood. But when you have a lactase deficiency, instead of going into the blood, the lactose goes to the large intestine without being absorbed by the blood, it ferments and creates gas. This will cause intestinal cramps, bloating, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, flatulence or constipation.
But is there lactose in raclette cheese or fondue?
Lactose intolerant people should not be afraid to eat cheese.
Ripened cheese (soft, hard and semi-hard and therefore the cheese raclette or cheese for fondue) no longer contain lactose at all. Only the liquid part of milk contains lactose.
During the manufacturing process of cheese, the lactose separates from the proteins and fats of the curd. The bacteria used in the ripening process break down most of the remaining lactose within the first 24 hours. This is why mature cheese is well tolerated.
One cheese containing less than 0.1gr of lactose per 100gr is considered lactose-free.
Unfortunately, some soft cheeses such as cottage cheese, ricotta or mascarpone may contain traces of lactose due to their short ripening period (2 to 6 weeks). However, these do not normally cause digestive problems.
One exception: fresh cheese
Exceptions are unripened cheeses such as quark, cottage cheese, whipped white, mozzarella, feta and double cream cheese. They therefore contain lactose since they have not been ripened.