Moisture in Lactose Monohydrate

Fast, Accurate, and Easy Testing
Moisture in Lactose Monohydrate

Lactose monohydrate is an important byproduct of cheesemaking. During cheese manufacturing, milk solids are separated from whey liquid (a mixture of water, protein, lactose, and salts). Whey is further separated into whey protein and a lactose-rich permeate that yields lactose monohydrate.

Lactose monohydrate is used in the food industry as a sweetener, stabilizer and filler. To keep lactose monohydrate from getting moldy, it is crucial to maintain precise hydration levels during processing and packaging.

METTLER TOLEDO Halogen Moisture Analyzers enable fast and accurate moisture results in accordance with official food industry standards to help maintain consistent quality in lactose monohydrate.

Lactose monohydrate is used in many food products. Therefore, it is essential to maintain excellent product quality and safety while meeting required industry standards. Moisture content plays a crucial role from goods-in to final product to ensure quality, safety and compliance.

HX204 and other robust METTLER TOLEDO Halogen Moisture Analyzers provide comparable results to a drying oven while optimizing processing speed and quality when producing lactose monohydrate.

The Importance of Moisture Content

Consumers expect the highest quality and safety in food and pharmaceutical products. This makes hydration a factor that must be carefully controlled in the production of lactose monohydrate. After purification and crystallization, lactose monohydrate contains both free and bound water. The free water must be controlled to inhibit mold growth during packaging. However, because the product is sold by weight, a water content that is too low can result in profit loss. This makes moisture content a critically important parameter for consumers and producers alike. 

Moisture content analysis provides a simple quality check of lactose monohydrate purity. It can also assist in the optimization of production processes. 

Manufacturing Lactose Monohydrate 

In cheese production, milk solidifies and separates from liquid whey. The milk solids are then further processed into cheese. Whey, a mixture of water, protein, lactose and salts, is then clarified, pasteurized and separated into two streams: whey protein and a lactose-rich whey permeate. 

Whey permeate is concentrated in an evaporator and then left to crystallize in a tank. Finally, the product is cooled, refined, and dried to yield lactose monohydrate, which is then packaged and sold as a sweetener, stabilizer and filler in the food industries. 

Moisture Testing of Lactose Monohydrate 

To ensure quality, USP28 NF23: “Lactose Monohydrate” provides a drying-oven method to check moisture content. In the method, a sample is heated for 2 hours at 80 °C. 

A halogen moisture analyzer such as the METTLER TOLEDO HX204 provides a fast, accurate alternative to the drying oven. Halogen moisture analysis reduces the time required for quality checks from 2 hours to a few minutes. 

The HX204 is easy to handle thanks to its compact design. This makes it suitable for use in both laboratory and production settings.


The moisture content of lactose monohydrate can be determined quickly and accurately using the HX204 Halogen Moisture Analyzer with results that fully correspond to the drying oven method. Moreover, the HX204 improves time-to-result by providing results in just a few minutes compared to the hours required for the reference method.

The HX204 enables fast, accurate moisture testing of lactose monohydrate by providing intuitive onscreen guidance to reduce handling errors. This makes the HX204 a good fit for rapid and repeatable moisture content testing that can be used to optimize processing and quality control in lactose monohydrate and many other food products.


METTLER TOLEDO is a leading global manufacturer of precision instruments. The Company is the world’s largest manufacturer and marketer of weighing instruments for use in laboratory, industrial and food retailing applications. The Company also holds top-three market positions for several related analytical instruments and is a leading provider of automated chemistry systems used in drug and chemical compound discovery and development. In addition, the Company is the world’s largest manufacturer and marketer of metal detection systems used in production and packaging. Additional information about METTLER TOLEDO is available at

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