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Home > Food Preservation Articles, Reviews, & Buyers Guides > Pasteurization

Pasteurization  Item Number: Pasteurization

Why Pasteurize?

The bacteria found in fresh milk from a healthy animal is neither harmful or beneficial. However, rapid changes can occur and the levels of bacteria can become potentially harmful if there are changes in the health of the animal, the milk handler, or contaminants from polluted water, dirt, manure, vermin, air, cuts, and wounds. Some microorganisms can find their way into the milk supply through the animals hair, udder and up the teat canal. It was discovered in the 1900s that milk could transmit tuberculosis, brucellosis, diphtheria, scarlet fever. This threat has been greatly reduced due to pasteurization and other sanitary practices.

How it Works

Pasteurization is the process of heating foods to kill harmful bacteria such as bacteria, viruses, molds, yeast. Unlike sterilization, it does not kill beneficial bacteria.


HTST High temperature/Short Time
Most common. Keeping the milk at a temperature of 161.5 degrees Fahrenheit or 72 degrees Celsius for at least 15 seconds.

UHT Ultra High Temperature
Keeping the milk at a temperature of 280 degrees A Fahrenheit for at least 2 seconds.

Different Standards

Different dairy products require different standards of pasteurization due to their differing fat contents. Some require the preservation of certain enzymes which are necessary for curing.

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