Bio, vegan, lactose-free products – choose your alternative?

Many different product categories are currently available on the market. Some of them are substitutes or healthier alternatives to traditional products, and some are products for people with allergies or people following different diets. Such diversity makes everyone find the product perfectly suited to their needs. However, such a large variety can also embarrass us and make it difficult for us to choose when shopping. In this article, we will focus on three product categories: bio, vegan and lactose-free. These three categories are very popular and we will, therefore, find a wide range of products in each of them. BIO PRODUCTS BIO or ECO labels are most often found on the packaging of these products. Both of these phrases mean the same thing – that the product comes from organic cultivation or breeding. This designation gives us a guarantee that the cultivation or breeding which the product comes from complies with certain rules during production. Products from such crops shall not be sprayed with any chemical agents, pesticides or fertilisers. In addition, they do not use glutamates or emulsifiers. The only additives allowed are dyes and preservatives, which are strictly defined and controlled. If animals are needed for the production, the relationship with them must also be in accordance with the rules. Animals must be well treated and fed without antibiotics. BIO products are usually more expensive than those from normal crops. This is due to the fact that the production takes more time when no aids are used, the crops or cultures are usually smaller and do not have access to machines as in the case of mass production. There are also additional costs of certificates and permanent inspections. However, BIO products are worth their price, because thanks to constant control and regulation, we are sure of the better quality, as the production process takes place according to highest standards. In addition, they are healthier due to no chemistry and contain more nutritional value. Organic products can be found in every category of food products, we have organic cheese, organic vegetables and many others. Vegan products Vegan products are mainly intended for people on a vegan diet. Their composition does not include animal ingredients such as eggs, milk or honey. There are more and more plant-based substitutes for traditional animal products, such as plant-based milk and vegan yogurt substitutes or vegan cheese on the market. Buying vegan products is usually not only caused by diet. It is often the concern for animals, the environment and our own health. When choosing plant products, we reduce the demand for animal products, which, as a result, reduces the number of animals used and killed. In addition, the vegan diet is rich in fiber and contains less cholesterol and saturated fats. Vegan eating habits have positive effects over time, such as better blood counts, improved lipid profile, and often weight loss and better weight management. Plant products are not only intended for vegans, it is also a frequent choice of allergy sufferers who cannot consume dairy products. A wide range of vegetable substitutes for traditional products allows vegans and allergy sufferers to enjoy the taste of their favorite products. Lactose-free products Lactose-free products are intended for people with lactose intolerance. Lactose is a sugar naturally found in mammal milk. To digest it properly, we need the right enzyme that breaks lactose down into simple sugars. A large part of the population is struggling with the lack of this enzyme. Lactose intolerance is most often manifested by unpleasant gastrointestinal discomfort after ingestion of products containing lactose. Of course, lactose is present in dairy products, but it can also be found in ready meals, sweets, chips or bread. Most alternative lactose-free products can be found in dairy products. Lactose-free and yogurt-free cheese are available on the market. This does not mean that they do not contain milk, however, in the production process the aforementioned enzyme is added, which breaks lactose down and makes the sugars present in the product more easily digestible. This solution allows people with intolerance to consume dairy products that are labelled as lactose-free. In order to be labelled ‘lactose-free’, the product must have documentary evidence of the absence of lactose.

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