Pasteurisation is a hot topic that is constantly under debate!
Pasteurisation is a process that heats milk in order to kill food-borne bacteria and microbes. Whilst this was relevant in times when hygiene and sanitisation where not common, it is less so today. By killing the bad bacteria, the good bacteria are also killed, along with the enzymes that are essential for breaking down the protein and fats in milk that deliver the minerals and vitamins. Raw milk advocates link pasteurisation to high cholesterol, sinus congestion and a myriad of ailments that are today linked to dairy products. There are 3 kinds of pasteurisation processes that you might see written on a label: 'Vat Pasteurised' is the best commercial choice. It heats milk to 135 degrees for 20mns and preserves good bacteria and many enzymes (shelf-life 7-10 days); 'Pasteurised' is best avoided as much as possible...it heats milk to 160 degrees for 15-20 seconds and preserves only some good bacteria (shelf-life is 2-3weeks); 'Ultra pasteurised' is to be avoided at all costs! it heats milk to 275 degrees for a couple of seconds only and this 'flash' heating kills everything (shelf life 2-3 months). It is always best to go for Raw milk which you can heat gently yourself until it starts to boil. This will kill the bad bacteria but maitain all the good stuff too. Otherwise, make sure you go for Vat pasteurised products, as they are guaranteed to provide a bacteria-free product whilst maintianing many of the enzymes and good bacteria.
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