Commonly used lactose assays [enzymatic spectrophotometric absorbance (EZA) and HPLC] for dairy ingredients are relatively expensive and time consuming. A blood glucose meter (BGM)-based method has successfully been documented as a rapid lactose assay in milk. However, the BGM-based method has not been evaluated in dairy ingredients. The objective of this study was to evaluate the BGM-based lactose analysis method in whey-derived (WD) and skim milk-derived (SMD) ingredients. The study was carried out in 4 phases. In phase 1, the effect of pH and lactose concentrations on the BGM reading was investigated using a factorial design with 2 factors: pH (6.02-7.50) and lactose (0.2 or 0.4%). We found that BGM readings were significantly affected by lower pH values at both lactose levels. In phase 2, the effect of total solids and ingredient type was investigated using a factorial design with 2 factors: ingredient type (WD or SMD) and total solids (0-8%). It was observed that the BGM reading was significantly affected by ingredient type and total solids. Phase 3 involved developing a linear relationship between the BGM reading and the EZA reference method to ascertain the accuracy of the proposed BGM method. Different ingredient types (WD or SMD) and non-lactose solids (0.5-27%) model ingredient dilutions prepared over a range of lactose contents (0.08-0.62%) were measured using the BGM and EZA methods. The average absolute percentage bias difference between the BGM method and EZA reference method results for these model dilutions was found to be between 2.2 and 7.3%. In phase 4, 15 samples procured from commercial sources ranging from 0.01 to 81.9% lactose were evaluated using the BGM method and EZA reference method. The average absolute percentage bias difference for lactose results between the 2 methods ranged from 3.6 to 5.0% and 5.3 to 9.7% for well-performing and poorly performing meters, respectively. Overall, the BGM method is a promising tool for rapid and low-cost analysis of lactose in both high-lactose and low-lactose dairy ingredients.
Keywords: biosensor blood glucose meter dairy ingredient lactose rapid method