Lactose Intolerance Information

Lactose Content In Cheese

Cheese and mouse photo

Some Questions Answered…..


The lactose content of various milk sources are very similar, in that they range between 4-5%.  When making cheese 98% of this lactose is lost when pouring off the whey, leaving the remaining 2% in the curd, which  used to make cheese.  Depending on the aging and type of fermenting agent used, the content of lactose will differ.  The general rule is that the harder and more aged a cheese is, the less lactose will be present, as it has been broken down by the fermenting agent.  Below is a brief outline of the lactose content of various products, where you will see that cheese in general is very low in lactose, with exception of buffalo milk mozzarella, only because a the cheese still contains a lot of the whey and is soaked in the whey while stored to maintain its soft consistency.


Product g lactose/100g
Regular cows milk 4.8g/100g
Reduced fat cows milk 5.2g/100g
Goats Milk 4g/100g
Buffalo Milk 4.8g/100g
Yoghurt 4.5g/100g
Low Fat Yoghurt 6g/100g
Ricotta 2g/100g
Cheddar Cheese 0.06g/100g
Cottage Cheese 0.33g/100g
Brie 0.16g/100g
Goats milk cheese 0.7g/100g
Buffalo milk mozzarella 1.1g/100g
Parmesan 0.01/100g


Essentially with lactose intolerance one can still tolerate a small amount of lactose per day, without experiencing the symptoms.    Research shows that the threshold of minimum tolerance is 50 grams of lactose per day, however each individual is different and can deviate slightly from this finding.  Considering how low the levels of lactose are in cheeses, a small amount 30-60 grams per day should be tolerated.  Goats milk and buffalo milk cheeses do offer various health benefits in being lower in cholesterol and saturated fats, however they are not necessarily lower in lactose that their cow’s milk equivalents.  That being stated, they are still very low in lactose and should be tolerated when consumed in small amounts.


Thank you to Coeliac Australia for providing this information.

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