Lactose intolerant individuals are spoilt for choice as Meiji returns with its lactose-free milk option.
A year after releasing its Meiji Lactose Free Milk for a limited time, the leading pasteurised milk brand in Singapore has brought back the variant in a bigger size to serve increasing demand in the market. Those who cannot have lactose in their diet but still want their dose of cow's milk can now enjoy the product in a 946ml box.
Meiji has also widened the options with a new flavour, Meiji Lactose Free Milk in Dark Chocolate, that will bring excitement to one's palate without having stomach issues.
But first, what is lactose intolerance and why does it happen?
Why some people can't take lactose
While there are no exact figures on lactose intolerant Singaporeans, not being able to digest lactose, a type of sugar found in milk and milk products, is not an uncommon condition - especially for those of East Asian descent.
Lactose intolerance happens when one's body does not have enough of an enzyme called lactase, which breaks down lactose in the small intestine for the body to absorb. Being lactose intolerant is usually not a serious condition but its symptoms can be extremely unpleasant.
When lactose is not broken down, it can go to one's colon and interact with normal bacteria and ferments. When this happens, it can result in bloating, flatulence and diarrhoea. Some cases lead to stomach cramps and nausea or vomiting. These symptoms usually take place from 30 minutes to two hours after drinking or eating food with lactose.
If your body cannot tolerate lactose, it is best to avoid milk and milk-based products altogether. However, this means missing out on your much-needed calcium fix.
The importance of drinking cow's milk
Apart from getting calcium, which helps keep bones and teeth strong and healthy, drinking milk presents a lot of other benefits for people of all ages.
Cow's milk, in particular, is packed with nutrients that are essential to body development.
Contents found in cow's milk can help build muscle (thanks to the proteins casein and whey), keep the nerves and blood cells healthy (due to vitamin B12) and contribute to normal cell growth and function (with vitamin B2 or riboflavin).
Milk comes in different forms, with pasteurised among them. Introduced in the 1800s by French biologist Louis Pasteur, the process of pasteurising milk involves heating it to a specific temperature for a period of time to kill harmful bacteria but still retaining its vitamins and minerals. This was done as a response to milk-borne diseases such as tuberculosis during that time. Today, the process is what makes pasteurised milk your best bet to making sure your option is safe to drink.
The preferred milk alternative
This is where Meiji comes in. While lactose intolerant individuals can opt for milk alternatives like plant-based milk, goat's milk or even yoghurt, they might have a tough time finding the satisfying taste of cow's milk. More often than not, most milk alternatives also contain added sugar to make up for the lack of lactose, which may do more harm than good to the body.
But the beloved milk brand wants to make sure that people who cannot take lactose can still enjoy both the benefits and flavour of cow's milk - without compromising their digestion.
Being the leading pasteurised milk brand not only in Singapore but also in Japan, Hong Kong and Thailand, Meiji offers the assurance of quality and fresh products.
The Meiji Lactose Free Milk, which now comes in a 946ml gable top box, is not only safe to drink for lactose intolerant people but also contains calcium and vitamin B12 to keep bones, nerves and blood cells healthy. It has a fresh and rich taste - almost indistinguishable from Meiji's regular milk -with no added sugar. Enjoy it straight or add it to your cup of coffee or bowl of cereal. You can even use it for baking.
If you are looking to add a creamy flavour to your milk intake, pick up the Meiji Lactose Free Milk in Dark Chocolate. This variant contains calcium and vitamin B2 for strong bones and cell growth. It is also trans fat-free.
Look out for Meiji lactose-free milk products in grocery shelves islandwide.