Lactose is a sugar that is present in milk and dairy products. Lactose is a combination of two sugar- glucose and galactose which makes lactose sugar healthy for consumption. Refined lactose is the purest form of lactose. In terms of purity lactose having less than 1% of ash, for example, refined edible lactose (currently<0.8%), refined edible infant lactose (currently<0.6%), refined pharmaceutical lactose (currently<0.2%).
Refined lactose is obtained from whey or permeate. Refined lactose is produced through the concentration of whey or permeates to saturate the lactose. This oversaturated lactose is then removed, refined, dried and milled to foam the lactose crystals. Refined Lactose is finely milled. This provides great crystalline free-flowing properties for further processing. Refined lactose is produced in ranges of 40, 100, and 200 mesh sizes. This are measured by the milling level, and are suitable for various applications such as, infant formulas, pharmaceutical fermentations, confectionary, and bakery products. Refined lactose is whiter, crystalline, and free-flowing powder. Rapid growth in food and beverage, pharmaceutical and confectionary industry has driven the global refined lactose market.
The growth of the dairy market in the U.S. and Western Europe also has contributed to the growth of the global refined lactose market. There is an increase in the number for the food and beverage and pharmaceutical industries demanding refined lactose for their products in China, Japan, and North America region. This has lead China, Japan, and North America to contribute at a high level in the global refined lactose market. The refined lactose market shows intense competition in the market which has forced to adopt competitive pricing by the companies in the market.
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Refined lactose is a versatile and valuable ingredient which delivers product value to a variety of applications- food, confectionery, and pharmaceuticals:
In the food industry, refined lactose is used as an energy source, sweetening foods, enhancing flavors, contribution to nutrition and browning in bread. This has led to an increasing demand for refined lactose in the food and beverage industries. Refined lactose has also seen demand in the infant food because of refined lactose used as an essential carbohydrate in infant food. Glucose in refined lactose provides an important source of energy and calories necessary for newborn’s growth and development, and galactose contributes to the healthy development of the baby’s central nervous system. Due to the physiological and functionality characteristic of refined lactose. It is used in large numbers in the pharmaceutical industry as a carrier of drugs in the production of tablets, capsules, and inhalers. Driving the demand for refined lactose in the pharmaceutical industry. Also, government initiatives in the pharmaceutical industry to use pharmaceutical grade lactose as an excipient has increased the demand for refined lactose in the pharmaceutical industry. The rise in consumer awareness regarding the consumption of refined lactose improves intestinal health and enhances mineral absorption has increased the demand for refined lactose in foods. Rapidly growing population, rising standards of living, easy healthcare accessibility has also contributed to the global refined lactose market demand. However, Lactose intolerant consumers who have driven the introduction of lactose-free products have restraint the growth of the refined lactose market.
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Opportunities for Market Participants
The growing demand for infant formula containing refined lactose in developing countries has created a great expansion opportunity for the market players. Major players are focusing on research and development to reduce the manufacturing cost and develop innovative techniques. In the pharmaceutical industry, refined lactose demand is rising in inhaled drugs, leading to an opportunity for pharmaceutical companies to focus on the development of new inhaled drug therapies. Due to an increase in demand by pharmaceutical manufacturers for refined lactose in developing countries. The foreign players in the refined lactose market are looking for the regional expansion opportunity in developing countries like China, Japan, India, and Indonesia.
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