Does Grana Padano contain lactose?
In the last twenty years, there has been a huge development in medicine in terms of nutrition. Discomfort and pain were considered causes of stress and tiredness until the 80s but today they are recognized as diseases and allergies. Finally, there are also appropriate solutions to the different intolerances. The most diffused allergy in the field of nutrition is without any doubt the lactose intolerance.
What is a lactose intolerance?
Lactose intolerance occurs when the small intestine does not produce the lactase enzyme. This enzyme breaks the lactose down into glucose and galactose so that the human body can digest the milk sugar. What is interesting to know is the fact that the ability to produce this enzyme in adulthood is based on a genetic mutation. At the beginning of manhood, the Homo sapiens did not tolerate lactose after the weaning of the mother´s milk. The tolerability of lactose evolved due to the practice of cattle breeding, which diffusion has been very differently around the world. Analyzing the databases, it becomes evident that northern populations tolerate lactose better than people from South America, Africa and the Far East, where it occurs more often that people suffer from lactose intolerance. This is due to their cultural heritage in which the nutrition is not based on dairy products.
I have a lactose intolerance: can I eat Grana Padano?
Of course! Grana Padano does not contain lactose, or let´s say that it is less than 10mg per 100g. This value is the limit for foods for being considered lactose free. This is valid for all ages of the Grana Padano cheese, for the young nine-month aged cheese as well as for the long aged cheese.
Why is Grana Padano lactose-free?
Although Grana Padano consists almost entirely of milk, it is naturally lactose-free. This may sound strange but the milk sugar is gradually removed during the natural production process. Most of the lactose is drained by separating the curds from the whey and left to rest for 48 hours where the lactobacillus eliminates the lactose almost completely. The last step is the aging of cheese, which has to be at least nine month so that the cheese is substantially free of lactose and ready to be consumed by everybody.