Pasteurization

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Pasteurization is a process of heating a food, usually liquid, to a specific temperature for a definite length of time, and then cooling it immediately. This process slows microbial growth in food. The process of heating wine to preserve it longer was known in China since AD.1117[1], and is documented in Japan in 1568 in the diary Tamonin-nikki, but the modern version was created by the French chemist and microbiologist Louis Pasteur, after whom it is named. The first pasteurization test was completed by Louis Pasteur and Claude Bernard on April 20, 1864. The process was originally conceived as a way of preventing wine and beer from souring.[2]

Pasteurization aims to reduce the number of viable pathogens so they are unlikely to cause disease (assuming the pasteurized product is stored as indicated and consumed before its expiration date). Commercial-scale sterilization of food is not common because it adversely affects the taste and quality of the product. Certain food products, like dairy products, are superheated to ensure pathogenic microbes are destroyed.[3]

Contents

Products that can be pasteurized

Pasteurization of milk

Pasteurization is typically associated with milk; pasteurization of milk was first suggested by Franz von Soxhlet in 1886.[4][citation needed] It is the main reason for milk's extended shelf life. High Temperature Short Time (HTST) pasteurised milk typically has a refrigerated shelf life of two to three weeks, whereas ultra pasteurised milk can last much longer, sometimes two to three months. When ultra heat treatment (UHT) is combined with sterile handling and container technology (such as aseptic packaging), it can even be stored unrefrigerated for 6–9 months, although superheated milk's flavor is impaired, and it may lose some nutritional value.[citation needed][5]

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