Have you been googling, “lactose-free mozzarella”?. Then you are in the right place!
You may be thinking that lactose-free mozzarella might be necessary if you are lactose intolerant or on a low FODMAP diet.
Lactose intolerance occurs when someone does produce enough of the enzyme ‘lactase’ needed to break down the milk sugar lactose.
This blog post will explain if mozzarella is lactose-free, what lactose is, whether you need lactose-free mozzarella, and if so, where to find it and how to make it.
Is mozzarella lactose-free?
No, mozzarella is not lactose-free. In a standard serving size of 100g of mozzarella, there is 3.3g of lactose (1). This makes mozzarella a lactose-containing food as it contains more than 0.1g of lactose per 100g.
However, most people with lactose intolerance can tolerate up to approximately 12g of lactose in one sitting (2). Therefore, most people with a lactose intolerance do not need to use lactose-free mozzarella.
You can read more about lactose intolerance in our post “Lactose Intolerance – What Is It? How Is It Diagnosed? How Do I Manage It?”.
What is lactose?
Lactose is a naturally occurring sugar. Lactose is a disaccharide (type of sugar) found in milk and dairy products.
It is important to note that you don’t need to avoid lactose if you have followed an exclusion and reintroduction diet with a dietitian (3).
Is mozzarella low FODMAP?
Although Mozzarella is technically not lactose free, it is low FODMAP.
Lactose is a disaccharide, which is what the ‘D’ stands for in FODMAP. Monash has confirmed that 40g of mozzarella is low fodmap (4). This is approximately one-third of a typical ball of mozzarella you would buy in the supermarket.
The low FODMAP diet is not a FODMAP-free diet. Foods containing low levels of FODMAPs are able to be tolerated on the low FODMAP diet.
Therefore, although mozzarella does contain FODMAPs, it can still be enjoyed in moderation while on the low FODMAP diet.
Do note that mozzarella is high in fat, which may still trigger some IBS-related symptoms.
Where can I buy lactose-free mozzarella?
Most people will not need lactose-free mozzarella even if they have a lactose intolerance or are following a low fodmap diet given its low lactose content.
However, should you still feel that you need this, then here is some advice on where to source it.
Examples of lactose-free mozzarella available to buy in-store and online:
There are also multiple vegan mozzarella options available in supermarkets which may be suitable:
Green Vie Vegan Mozzarella (also available in Tesco)
Bute Island Foods Ltd Grated Sheese Vegan Mozzarella Style
Violife Just Like Mozzarella Shreds
Moocho dairy-free mozzarella style shreds
Miyokos Fresh Plant Milk Mozzarella
The base for vegan mozzarella is most commonly coconut oil, which is fodmap-free. Do note that its high-fat content may trigger symptoms (4).
Always check the ingredients list for other hidden FODMAPs.
Can you make homemade lactose-free mozzarella?
Yes, it is possible to make lactose-free mozzarella.
However, it is often a very time-consuming process that requires a lot of patience and specialty ingredients you may not have in your cupboard at home.
Here is a link to a recipe for lactose-free mozzarella: Bees Adventures Lactose-free Mozzarella Cheese Recipe. Buying pre-made lactose-free mozzarella or using alternative low FODMAP cheeses may be more convenient.
For more information on other alternative cheeses, see our article on Low FODMAP Cheese.
Using Lactase enzymes for lactose-free mozzarella
Lactase is an enzyme that breaks down lactose. You can buy lactase as a supplement and take it before a meal to help break down the lactose for you.
For more information on its usage see our article Which Digestive Enzymes are Good for IBS?.
However, as already mentioned you should not need to use this enzyme as anyone with a lactose intolerance will tolerate the minimal amount of lactose in mozzarella.
Mozzarella is not naturally lactose-free but contains such a small amount of lactose, which most individuals with lactose intolerance should tolerate given its low lactose content.
If following the low FODMAP diet, stick to the low FODMAP portion unless otherwise advised by a dietitian or doctor. Alternatively, you can purchase or make lactose-free mozzarella.
The use of Lactase enzymes may also be a consideration.
My name is Elouise Rice and I am a registered dietitian, soon to be practising as a band 6 specialist gastro dietitian in a leading hospital in London. I previously worked as a band 5 gastro dietitian at world-renowned Addenbrookes Hospital in Cambridge. I have a never ending curiosity about how our gut impacts our overall health. I am proud to be working as a dietitian and supporting individuals with improving their gut health.
Last updated on August 30th, 2023 at 10:54 pm