Lactose is produced from skimmed pasteurized and concentrated whey by evaporation. Then it is transferred into crystallization tanks, where the supersaturation results in a crystallization in α-lactose monohydrate. The suspension is then decanted and washed to purify the lactose. The lactose content increase from 80% to 99%. The lactose is dried, ground and sieved to obtain suitable particle size before packaging.
Food lactose crystallizes better as dextrose or sucrose. Mixed with these sugars, it can change their crystallization properties. This is why it is used in the manufacture of confectionery and chocolate products. Lactose is also a slightly soluble sugar with low sweetening ability that promotes caramelization. This is why it is used in the baking industry and to provide uniform color to chips and fried potatoes.