Does Mozzarella Have Lactose? Plus Cheesy Options!

 by Dr. Steve Hruby, D.C.
Reviewed by Dr. Steve Hruby, D.C.

SuperHumans are the toughest, fittest, healthiest and happiest human beings on this planet. My mission is to help you realize your superhuman potential and learn how to live a long, happy and healthy life.

  Fact Checked
 by Rhealyn Tropia, RMT
Reviewed by Rhealyn Tropia, RMT

I’m a content organizer, fact-checker and super mom who ensures content is medically-reviewed, highly accurate, and engaging. My passion is organizing information and ensuring the facts are presented in a manner that is interesting and easy to understand.

does mozzarella have lactose

Does mozzarella have lactose? It’s a pretty good question to ask if you’re lactose intolerant. Generally, milk products are high in lactose. This is because lactose is one of the sugars found in milk.

Mozzarella cheese is one of these products and does have lactose. But how much lactose is in mozzarella cheese is the big question. We already know the lactose content of heavy cream is pretty high. Mozzarella cream comes as a good alternative for lactose intolerant persons.

How much lactose is in cheese is directly proportional to the cheese’s freshness? The fresher the cheese, the more lactose it contains. So if you have a sensitive stomach, try and avoid the creamier varieties.

Instead, go for aged products that have fermented for some periods. Such cheese tends to have the lowest amount of lactose possible.

Looking to learn whether mozzarella is good for you? Join me as I discuss Mozzarella and its amount of lactose.

Is Mozzarella Lactose-Free?

Mozzarella is not lactose-free. This is because all dairy products have lactose. However, Mozzarella is one of the few dairy products with very little lactose. Fresh cheese and milk have the highest lactose content.

The reason mozzarella has very little lactose is because of the manufacturing process. Like all other cheese, Mozzarella undergoes a manufacturing process where whey is removed.

Whey contains most of the lactose in dairy products. Overall, the lactose content in mozzarella cheese is very minimal. This is why lactose-intolerant persons can consume cheese without any digestive issues. The manufacturing process is quite effective at removing lactose.

Moreover, aged mozzarella cheese has even less lactose than fresh cheese. When you give the cheese time to ferment, you also give time to bacteria to consume most of the lactose.

Fermentation further reduces the amount of lactose in mozzarella cheese. This doesn’t mean eating as much cheese as you can. People with lactose intolerance should avoid such products or eat in very small amounts.

Why Is Mozzarella So Low in Lactose?

Mozzarella is very low in lactose because of the manufacturing process. Cheese undergoes a manufacturing process that removes whey. Lactose in dairy products is hugely concentrated in whey. By removing the whey, the amount of lactose is drastically reduced.

mozzarella cheese with tomatoes and basil on a white ceramic plate

In addition, when the cheese is left to ferment, most of the lactose is further eaten by bacteria. This further reduces the amount of lactose. If you’re sensitive to slight amounts of lactose, consider consuming aged cheese instead of fresh cheese.

But mozzarella cheese will greatly differ in the amount of lactose depending on the type you buy. But this does not mean eating as much cheese as you can. Lactose-intolerant persons need to consume cheese in moderation.

Even when most of the lactose has been drained, lactose intolerant people can still suffer from digestive issues. The best way to consume mozzarella cheese is to listen to your body and consume it in moderation.

Mozzarella cheese generally contains below 1 gram of lactose for each ounce. But as mentioned earlier, the exact number of lactose varies depending on the type of cheese and the manufacturing process.

How To Prepare Fresh Lactose-Free Mozzarella Cheese

Afraid of consuming dairy products because of digestive issues? Can dairy make you constipated? These are important questions to ask if you have a sensitive stomach.

But you can still consume these dairy products by trying to reduce the amount of lactose. With mozzarella very low in lactose, it’s a great candidate for creating lactose-free cheese.

So, how do you make lactose-free mozzarella? You’ll need a few ingredients to make fresh lactose-free mozzarella. Below are some of the ingredients you’ll need.

  • Salt
  • Rennet
  • Citric acid
  • Lactose-free milk

Apart from the ingredients, you’ll need a thermometer, food-safe rubber gloves, a large pot, and cheesecloth. You only need to use lactose-free milk to make lactose-free mozzarella cheese.

Lactose-free milk can easily be found in most stores near you. Different brands produce lactose-free milk, like Lactaid. Follow the steps below to make lactose-free mozzarella.

serving of mozzarella and sliced tomatoes on a white plate
  1. Dissolve 1 and ½ tablespoons of citric acid into 1 cup of water. 
  2. Mix ¼ cup of water and ¼ teaspoon of rennet liquid in a different bowl.
  3. Add 1 gallon lactose-free milk to a large pot and turn the temperature to medium-high heat.
  4. Slowly add the citric acid mixture.
  5. Remove the pot when the temperature is at 90 degrees F and add the rennet liquid mixture.
  6. Stir the mixture for 30 seconds and cover with cheesecloth.
  7. Let the mixture sit for 5 minutes. It should have a gelatin texture after 5 minutes. If the mixture is still liquid, add it for a few minutes to turn it into a gelatin texture.
  8. Heat the mixture again to 105 degrees F while stirring.
  9. Take the mixture off and let it cool for 5 minutes again.
  10. Using a strainer, separate the curd from the liquid whey. Drain all the curds together to obtain a free lactose-free mozzarella cheese. Make sure you use a fine-mesh strainer to separate the whey permanently.
  11. You need to wear food-safe gloves throughout the process.

The process of making fresh lactose-free mozzarella cheese should be straightforward. The curds should be stretchy and smooth. Make sure you lump all the curds together and try to drain as much whey as possible.

You can then shape it into a ball and place it in water to hold the shape. You can add some Kosher salt to add some taste. If the cheese gets cold, put it into warm water for 20 seconds.

Your cheese should be ready in 5 minutes. You can conveniently add it to salads, pizza, and meat without worrying about high lactose content. There are endless varieties you can use for your cheese.

Cheese That a Lactose Intolerant Can Eat

So, what cheese can lactose intolerant eat? Lactose-intolerant persons can still eat and drink dairy products. However, they need to be careful when consuming any dairy products. Milk can have various digestive and gastrointestinal issues. 

blue cheese figs and walnut

Not all dairy products are made equal. You’re probably wondering about the many side effects of milk products. For example, can milk cause acid reflux? Yes, milk is one of the leading causes of acid reflux. 

Fat in the milk can aggravate acid reflux by acting as a temporary buffer between the stomach lining and the stomach content.

But for lactose intolerant persons, there are various types of cheese you can eat. These are cheese with 3 to 5 ounces of lactose per glass of milk. Below are some of the cheese lactose intolerant persons can eat.

  • Brie with 0-2% lactose range
  • Muenster with 0-1.1% lactose
  • Blue with 0-2.5% lactose range
  • Swiss with 0-3.4% lactose range
  • Gouda with 0-2.2% lactose range
  • Parmesan with 0-3.2% lactose range
  • Provolone with 0- 2-2% lactose range
  • Camembert with 0-1.8% lactose range
  • Mild and sharp varieties of cheddar cheese with a 0-2.1% lactose range

Generally, most persons with lactose intolerance do not consume any milk products. When they do, they tend to suffer some digestive issues. But the cheese options above are pretty safe when consumed in low amounts. They have the lowest amount of lactose.

Most of these lactose-intolerant persons can endure small amounts of mozzarella without problems. A good example is Buffalo mozzarella, the second most consumed milk product.

Buffalo mozzarella has high-fat protein and lactose content. But there are also brands with very little lactose. So it makes sense to choose your mozzarella brands carefully when buying cheese.

Lactose in Mozzarella FAQS

vegetable salad on a white plate with mozzarella cheese

Can You Get Lactose-Free Mozzarella on the Market?

Yes, you can get lactose-free mozzarella in different brands and types on the market. While they are usually labeled as lactose-free, mozzarella cheese brands in the market feature very little lactose content that lactose-intolerant individuals can eat.

What Cheese Is Worse for Lactose Intolerance?

Cheese worst for lactose intolerance individuals include products made from cream. These products include ice cream, cream cheese, butter, and custard. They have very high amounts of lactose and should be avoided.

What Is the Easiest Cheese To Digest?

The easiest cheese to digest is hard cheese like parmesan cheddar and swiss. Most of these cheeses have lactose eliminated, making them pretty easy to digest.


Mozzarella does have lactose, but in very small amounts, as opposed to other milk products. On average, 1 ounce of mozzarella has 0.02 grams of lactose. While lactose intolerant persons can suffer digestive issues consuming dairy products, such lower lactose amounts can be tolerated.

The exact amount of lactose in mozzarella varies depending on the type of mozzarella you buy. The low amount of lactose in mozzarella cheese can be attributed due to the manufacturing process that removes whey to give you a standard gut health formula. Most of the lactose in dairy products is found in whey.

If you suffer from digestive problems, check the products you consume to ensure they have fewer of the factors that cause the digestive issue. You may still consult your physician to ensure you have the right products before consuming them.

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