Pasteurization

Pasteurization is the process of heating milk to kill yeasts, molds, and pathogenic and most other bacteria and to inactivate certain enzymes without greatly altering the flavor. The principles were developed by and named after Louis Pasteur and his work on wine in 1860 to 1864 in France. The basic regulations are included in the Pasteurized Milk Ordinance (3), which has been adapted by most local and state jurisdictions in the United States.

Pasteurization may be carried out by batch or continuous-flow processes. In the batch process, each particle of milk must be heated to at least 62.8°C and held continuously at or above this temperature for at least 30 min. In the continuous process, the milk is heated to at least 71.7°C for at least 15 s. This is known as high-temperature short-time (HTST) pasteurization.

Other continuous pasteurization processes using higher temperatures and shorter times called ultra-high-temperature (UHT) are commercially employed (Table 5). For milk products with a fat content above that of milk or with added sweeteners, additional time and temperature are required (see Table 5). Following pasteurization, the product should be cooled quickly to 7.2°C or less.

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