Secret of UK chocolate manufacture inspires discovery of new lactose form | 5/15/2017 | Staff
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A new form of crystalline lactose has been discovered using part of the technique that gives UK chocolate its unique appeal.

The new form of lactose, an ingredient widely used in industries including food manufacturing and pharmaceuticals, has been written about in a journal article in Acta Crystallographica Section C: Structural Chemistry.

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By cooking pure lactose syrups in a way similar to that used in the production of chocolate crumb (a key component used to give UK chocolate its distinctive taste and texture) the team found that the resultant dried powders were unlike any of the previously reported crystalline forms of lactose. Using a technique called X-ray crystallography, they were able to obtain the full three-dimensional structure of this novel solid form of lactose.

Prof Kenneth Shankland, a Professor of Pharmaceutics at the University of Reading said:

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"The result was certainly surprising given that lactose is so widely used in everything from baking to tablet making, and so widely studied as a result.

To find a new crystalline form of a common substance such as lactose is...
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