This post is excerpted from The Entwife’s Journal.
Today, January 11th is National Milk Day. When milk started being delivered in sterlized glass bottles in 1878 that was a big deal. National Milk Day was established to commerate this event every January 11th. I saw this in an email put out by Milk Unleashed for their shelf safe milk- you know the kind you buy in cartons that can stay on your shelf for months and months and still be absolutely fine to drink. How is that even possible I wonder and maybe you do too.
Well it is because the milk is ultra pasteurized and packaged in special cartons. What is ultra pasteurization and how does it differ from pasteurization you wonder? Regular milk bought at most stores is pasteurized-the milk is heated to 161-167 degrees Fahrenheit for 15-20 seconds and then cooled. In ultra pasteurization the milk is heated to 275-284 degrees Fahrenheit for about 3 seconds and then cooled. The UHT treatment is a continuous process in a closed system that keeps out all possibly contamination from airborne microorganisms. This is why UHT milk can be kept for long periods of time.
The down side-the milk is dead. The enzymes and cultures are changed, the calcium is changed and the protein structure is damaged. This milk will not be able to be used for cheese and probably not for kefir or yogurt.
Pasteurized milk is also altered, albeit not as severely as the ultra. Many people have trouble with dairy these days and much of that comes from the pasteurization which alters the proteins and changes the composition of the milk.