Pasteurization And How Does It Works
There are a number of different pasteurization methods that are being used globally today. Each one has its own application and varies in its methodology.
There are five main methods of pasteurization and I would like to go through them and give you a brief understanding of each.
High Pressure Pasteurization
(HPP) is a method of pasteurization that is always cold and the liquids are sealed in its final packaging. Then goes through a high-pressure process exceeding 6000 bar that is transmitted by water. In turn, deactivates any micro-organisms that allow the products shelf life to be extended.
There seems to be a move away from this method as it changes the chemical properties of the product. However, this is not true. Traditional pasteurization and flash pasteurization change the chemical properties, not HPP.
This method is also known as “high temperature short-time” (HTST) processing. It’s mostly used for large-scale, industrial operations. It’s the most utilized method across a number of different industries such as fruit or vegetable juices, beer, kosher wines, and milk.
For example, fresh milk is heated to 160-164F between 15 to 30 seconds and then is poured directly into its container (bottles or boxes) and sealed and allowed to cool.
From those procedures, one might think about how long-shelf life milk is made. This then introduces our third method of pasteurization which is used for milk and cream products.
UHT or Ultra high-temperature Pasteurization
UHT process is attained by spraying the products through a nozzle into a sealed vessel filled with high-temperature steam under extreme pressure. The liquids are then heated to 280 F- 302 F or 138°to 150° C) for a short time – about 2 – 4 seconds.
After this, the liquid is cooled down instantaneously in cold vacuum chambers and then poured and packed in sterilized vacuum tight packaging.
Then we get Food Irradiation which is used with harder things like veg and fruit. This process exposes the consumable to ionized radiation which destroys every form of bacteria.
This method is somewhat controversial as it is felt that we are being exposed to radiation. But scientists assure us that it a safe process.
Finally, we get Pascalization, also known as known Bridgmanization or High Pressure Processing. This is the same as HPP which is the first type or pasteurization mentioned above.
This process is when a HUGE amount of pressure is applied to the products for about 15 minutes. This pressure effectively kills off all bacteria and pathogens instantly. We use this method in cleansing meats, fish, salad dressing, and yogurts.
As I’ve shown above, there are a number of different methods you or your company can use to extend the shelf life of food. From the small-scale personal use of traditional pasteurization to the more industrial sized processes. The key factor is to figure out which method best suits your business.
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