It is important to note that not all dairy products cause these gastrointestinal symptoms for certain people and some can actually reduce or stop them altogether.
Yogurt with live active cultures, or probiotics, typically do not produce these symptoms, as the active cultures help to break down lactose before and after consumption. Also, the longer the food is fermented, the less the lactose content will be, as the healthy probiotics survive by eating the lactose sugar.
Our Ingredients business, NZMP, also makes a Low Lactose Instant Milk Powder, which we export around the world. It contains less than two per cent lactose so people who avoid dairy due to lactose concerns can now enjoy milk and all the goodness that comes with it. A glass of this low-lactose milk contains all the nutrients found in a glass of standard milk. Nothing is added or removed - the lactose is simply broken down into more digestible sugars for those with reduced ability to digest lactose.
Hard cheese, which is naturally low in lactose, and zero lactose milks are also dairy products that can be safely consumed. At a global level, sales of zero lactose milk continue to rise, outstripping plant-based alternatives like almond ‘milk’, and there are now zero lactose versions of yoghurt, sour cream and butter.