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Lactose and Its Hydrolysis in Milk

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In an article entitled “Microbial Enzymes with Special Characteristics for Biotechnological Applications” written by Sing Nigam he states that, Microbial enzymes are known to be biocatalysts that perform reactions in the bio- processes in a more “environmentally friendly” way. As opposed to the use of chemical processes, microbial enzymes have the upper hand when it comes to processes because of there ability to function under mild temperatures, pH and pressure. Since these enzymes are more environmentally friendly due to their biodegradability, they are replacing many of the chemical enzymes and its processes. Starch enzymes are part of these microbial enzymes and they play an important role in the hydrolysis process and it controls how many different enzymes are broken down in our body. According to the article from the “Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry” it states that lactase is an enzyme that converts milk disaccharide, from lactose to glucose and galactose.

Lactase is mainly used in industries that usually require a hydrolysis of lactose to be done on milk and other milk products for people who may be lactose-intolerant including infants and a wide variety of people. This lactase enzyme can increase the sweetness from lactose by four hundred percent. The lactase hydrolysis process is very important when it comes to the diary processing industry, they use this process as a way of catalyzing the hydrolysis of lactose to the monosaccharides glucose and galactose. When it comes to lactose it has to go through an hydrolysis process before it can be consumed. In an article written by Ebenezer R. Vedamuthu entitled “Natural Undroylised Milk Versus Lactose Hydrolyzed Milk” he talks about the big difference in milk that has not been hydrolyzed versus lactose hydrolyzed milk. The article begins by stating that when looking at the differences between the natural (untreated) and enzyme treated milk as microbiological media. Since milk is an excellent choice to be watch for microbial growth and metabolic activity.

Lactose is the major carbohydrate in milk and it accounts for roughly 4.9% of this biological fluid, when it comes to examining the role of lactose it is the main source of carbon source for the microorganisms that are found in milk. This is a dissachride made up of D- glucose and galactose that are linked together. There are other free sugars that are normally found in milk they are glucose, galactose, and specific phosphate esters of hexoses in small trace amounts. It is important to think about the mechanisms of utilization that lactose provides to microorganisms. The first step in the utilization of lactose allows the microorganisms to, convert the disaccharide into its hexose components before they are then put into relevant energy-yielding pathways. In most natural (untreated) milk it does not have the same growth factors as the lactose-hydrolyzed milk. The untreated milk has a slower growth rate than the enzyme treated milk because of the additional components that are added into this untreated milk. The difference between both natural (untreated) and lactose-hydrolyzed milk can be found in its relative concentrations of the disaccharide, lactose, and monosaccharide additives. Lactose-hydrolyzed milk is different from the untreated milk because of the restrictive role it portrays of milk lactose it is also the major energy source for microorganisms. When it comes to examining both the natural and lactose-hydrolyzed milk noticing this change can help to pinpoint the exact point of microbial growth and its activity in the enzyme treated milk.

Drinking milk is important because it helps our bodies grow when we are infants it is our main source of food. In many cases some people cannot consume milk because of the lactose that is found in milk, lactase is digested in the intestines by B-galactosidase. According to Lianger Dong in his article “ Dispersible Biopolymer Particles Loaded with Lactase as a Potential Delivery Systems To Control Lactose Hydrolysis in Milk” he discusses the reasons the body cannot digest this enzyme. The beginning of the article explains what lactase is and it states that lactose intolerance stems from, the digestive tract failing to hydrolyze lactose because of the lack of lactase and low lactase activity. This then causes the extra lactose that has not been hydrolyzed to cause osmotic pressure to build in the bowel it is then fermented by the colon microflora into a short chain of fatty acids. It is not only made into fatty acid chains it is also converted into hydrogen, carbon dioxide, and other gases. Do to the excessive lactose not being hydrolyzed this tends to be the reason as to why people who are lactose intolerant who may have drank milk before tend to have symptoms of diarrhea, abdominal pain, bloating and flatus. This digestive disorder can be found in nearly 65% of the worlds population mostly among Asians, Mediterraneans, Africans, and North and South Americans.

To completely overcome the symptoms of lactose intolerance, consumers can buy lactose-free diary products and lactase supplements. It has been said that in many cases lactose-free products have some disadvantages like nutritional loss, sensory perceptions, and the sensitivity of lactase to acidic gastric conditions this limits the ability of supplementing lactase. This could also cause people with this intolerance to miss out on other nutritional aspects because of the nutrients they maybe losing by consuming lactose-free diary products. The concern is that these products and supplements maybe more hurtful than helpful, micro and the nanoencapsulation of lactase can help to overcome this issue. By incorporating lactase in emulsions or liposomes before adding the capsules into different diary products which would help with the lactase in these products to remain encapsulated while being stored. This will help while it is in storage and later on it will assist in hydrolyzing the lactase after it is ingested.

To check the results of this it was noted that despite adding the emulsions to the lactase capsules, the emulsions were found out to be thermodynamically unstable and this resulted in the loading efficiency to be improved. Lactase was then encapsulated in a test with hydrogel beads with an improved thermal and pH stabilities, however after during the test an issue was detected. The issue resulted in the hydrogel beads they showed a large pore size which lead to a fast enzyme leakage. Where does the lactose intolerance disorder come from is it just the gastrointestinal track not being able to break down lactase it could also be a genetic disorder that some people are born with. In a recent study found in a world allergy organization journal based on lactose intolerance and how if this intolerance can be detected during the age of infancy. In “Lactose intolerance and gastrointestinal Cow’s milk allergy in Infants and Children” written by Ralf G Heine he states that many infants after birth express a sufficient amount of lactase it is enough to help the digest one liter of breast milk daily. From a physiological stand point lactose malabsorption in infancy is beneficial when it comes to prebiotic effects including the start of Bifidobacterium-rich fecal microbiota. Infants who have this condition should still be breast fed Around the world in different populations a decline in lactase levels can be noticed in an infant after weaning it known to be lactase non-persistence. This lactase non-persistence has an affect on about 70% of the world’s population and is the primary basis of the lactose intolerance condition. The condition of lactose intolerance normally is not seen clinically in young children before the age of 5, this intolerance condition is usually caused in young children is typically caused by underlying intestine issues such as viral gastroenteritis, giardiasis, celiac diseases, cow’s milk enteropathy. This condition in children is mainly transient and it improves with the resolution of an underlying pathology. To treat this intolerance it involves the reduction but not the complete elimination of foods that may contain lactose. In some cases the gastrointestinal cow’s milk allergy is confused with lactose intolerance, because of its similarities there is an ongoing confusion between the two. The transient lactose malabsorption following gastroenteritis is most commonly detected in children under the age of 2 years old. More persistent symptoms can be found from cow milk enteropathy but in some cases they can not be recognized, it is possible for this condition to be treated with a lactose-free milk cow’s milk protein-containing formula.

The lactase hydrolysis process is not only used for milk processing but it is also used during the milk fermentation process. During this process mostly in ferementation the monosaccharides that are produced from the hydrolysis process are mostly utilized by the organisms. From the article “ Effect of Lactose Hydrolysis on Milk Fermentation and some properties of Curd” written by Jozsef Csanadial, he talks about how the lactose hydrolysis process plays a very helpful role in the process of milk fermentation. The fermentation process helps to reduce lactose in milk to about two thirds of the original levels, this helps those who may be lactose intolerance to be able to consume these products. Just because of the partial hydrolysis that has been done on this milk it still does not prevent the symptoms of lactose intolerance from occurring. It can be said that the lactose free milk products that are produced by adding lactase do not cause any symptoms. Those who maybe lactose maldigesters can consume a small amount of lactose but it can only be in a serving size of 2 to 6 grams. In comparison to non-hydrolysed milk it was shown that lactose hydrolysed milk has better benefits. Many products that have the lactase enzyme are on the market they have a variety of activities and properties, some problems can occur in the milk process that could cause the inhabitation of the lactose hydrolysis process. The hydrolysis process of lactase in milk can be negatively impacted do to many changes in the process such as temperature,          

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