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Pros and Cons of Pasteurization

Pros and Cons of Pasteurization

Pasteurization kills organisms–such as salmonella, listeria, and brucella–that can make you sick or cause food to spoil but opponents argue that it changes foods’ flavor and damages beneficial vitamins and minerals. Meanwhile, the FDA claims the effects on nutrients are negligible. Here are the pros and cons of common types of pasteurization.

Ultra-high temperature (UHT)
Used on: Milk, fruit juices, dairy creamers, cheese sauces, yogurt, wine with less than 14 percent alcohol content
How it’s done: Product is heated to at least 280 degrees for 1-2 seconds. Most common in countries where many residents don’t own refrigerators.
Pros: Cost-effective; minimal changes in color, flavor, and texture; extends shelf life by months.
Cons: Milk can taste “cooked.”

High Temperature Short Time (HTST) or Flash
Used on: Milk, most juices, beer, almonds
How it’s done: Food is heated to 160 degrees for 15 seconds and then rapidly cooled to 40 degrees. Most frequently used for milk in the U.S.
Pros: Pasteurized juices can have shelf lives of up to a year.
Cons: Products require refrigeration; opponents say pasteurizing almonds kills the nut’s ability to sprout.

Vat
Used on: Most American-made hard and soft cheeses, yogurt, and buttermilk
How it’s done: Louis Pasteur’s original method heats product to 145 degrees in a large vat for 30 minutes.
Pros: Milk retains flavor.
Cons: Semi-obsolete because of time intensiveness and higher cost.

Unpasteurized/Raw
Used on: Dairy
How it’s done: Dairy is not pasteurized before consumption.
Pros: Creamier; advocates claim it’s tastier and more nutritious.
Cons: Raw milk can contain pathogens such as E. coli; spoils quicker; illegal to sell raw dairy in most states; requires refrigeration.

Irradiation
Used on: Meats, wheat, fruits and vegetables, and spices
How it’s done: Foods are exposed to small amounts of gamma rays.
Pros: Kills insects and pathogens, prevents sprouting, and extends shelf life.
Cons: No proof that irradiated foods are safe for human consumption; surviving organisms could help create pathogenic “super strains.”

Delicious Living is the go-to resource for the natural and organic lifestyle, helping readers eat well, live green, and stay healthy. Visit deliciouslivingmag.com for more articles and free recipes.

Read more: Basics, Diet & Nutrition, Eating for Health, Food, , , , ,

By Rachel Mosteller, Delicious Living

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51 comments

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12:19AM PDT on Jun 1, 2013

Thank you for info.

12:19AM PDT on Jun 1, 2013

Thank you for info.

2:20AM PST on Feb 8, 2013

The method of storage is the trick

2:27PM PST on Feb 7, 2013

Thank you.We use organic milk for our tea.

12:55PM PST on Feb 7, 2013

good to know

6:35AM PST on Feb 7, 2013

I've heard irradiation is very dangerous...

3:28AM PST on Feb 7, 2013

2 sides to a story, thanks for the info.

11:14AM PDT on Oct 13, 2011

Interesting.

6:06AM PDT on Oct 1, 2011

Thank you

12:51AM PDT on Sep 8, 2011

Good reading. Thanks for sharing these great info.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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