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We have always heard that drinking milk is very important for our overall health. After all, milk is fortified with a range of vitamins including, vitamin B2 and B12, vitamin A and D, as well providing a source of calcium, pantothenic acid, selenium, biotin and protein which can aid our general health. In this essay, we will discuss what homogenized milk is as well as the difference between homogenized milk and pasteurized milk.
Homogenization is a completely separate process than pasteurization, so you can have pasteurized milk that hasn’t been homogenized and vice versa. Most of the milk you see on the supermarket shelf is both pasteurized and homogenized and a lot of people don’t understand the difference between the two. Pasteurization is a process that most people are familiar with. This process quickly heats and then cools the milk to kill harmful microbes and germs in milk.
Homogenization is a mechanical process and doesn’t involve any additives. And much like pasteurization, arguments exist for and against it. It’s advantageous for large-scale dairy farms to homogenize milk because the process allows them to mix milk from different herds without any issues. By preventing cream from rising to the top, homogenization also leads to a longer shelf life which is attractive to consumers and also allows large farms to ship greater distances and do business with more retailers. Homogenization makes it easier for dairies to filtrate out the fat and create two percent, one percent and skim milk. But as with most mechanical processes, when you homogenize milk, you not only change the size of the fat globules, you also rearrange the fat and protein molecules which could alter how they act in the human body. Finally, it is the next step after pasteurization. Manufacturers use it to alter milk for human consumption. While pasteurization involves heating the milk to kill bacteria, homogenization involves processing milk so that the cream does not separate. This results in a well mixed beverage that has the same consistency throughout the final milk product. Finally, Homogenization makes it easier for dairies to filtrate out the fat and create two percent, one percent and skim milk.
Homogenized milk passes through small tubes during processing. These tubes reduce the size of the fat molecules in the milk. This allows the fat, or oil portion of the milk, to remain mixed in with the water portion. During pasteurization, milk’s white cells collect on the bottom of the vats after heating. The homogenization process also helps to reverse this action and redistribute the white cells throughout the milk.
A process first developed by Louis Pasteur in the 19th century as a method to keep wine fresher for longer, pasteurisation was one of the first processes to be industrialised during the commercial mechanisation of foodstuffs, It’s importance lies in the eradication of harmful bacteria; heat-treating kills off heat sensitive pathogens to reduce the risk of zoonotic diseases such as tuberculosis, E. Coli, salmonella and Campylobacter Jejuni. Raw milk contains gut bacteria transferred from the cow or goat which can be lethal to humans and so the adoption of pasteurisation as a safety measure in the reduction of pathogenic risk became widespread in the dairy industry, and for most countries in the world it is a legal prerequisite before being able to sell any milk product as a sanitary measure due to the health risk associated with unprocessed milk. In addition to this, there is also a secondary benefit to pasteurisation in the extension of product shelf life during refrigeration.
Pasteurisation is defined as a heat treatment which is less than F0=3, the minimal heat treatment needed to sterilise food – this is equivalent to heating at 121.1°C for 3 minutes. In comparison to the sterilisation process, pasteurisation is a milder set of heat treatment options over a range of temperatures from 60°C to 115°C.
It’s not just the cool packet in your kitchen that makes this possible but the way the milk and other foods are specially treated before they reach your home. The key is a process called pasteurization, where fresh foods are heated briefly to high temperatures, to kill off bacteria, then cooled rapidly before being shipped out to grocery stores. By greatly increasing the shelf life of packaged foods, pasteurization has proved itself to be one of the most important food-preservation technologies ever developed.
With non-pasteurized milk, you are not getting the same level of nutrients that you would otherwise have in other kinds of milk. This makes it very unique and ensures that you won’t have to worry about any serious health issues. When it comes to other kinds of milk, there is a whole host of other issues that could pop up. This means that if you are someone that is very concerned about getting the right amount of added nutrients, make sure you are drinking pasteurized milk are not.
The trouble with milk pasteurization is that it can undermine the quality of the milk. Not only does pasteurization kill bad bacteria and pathogens, it also kills or severely damages some of the most important nutrients in the milk, nutrients that make milk the whole, nutrient-dense super food that its proponents claim it to be.
It might sound paradoxical that pasteurized milk would have fewer nutrients, but the truth is that pasteurized milk has fortified minerals rather than naturally-occurring ones. This can be a problem because most fortified minerals and nutrients aren’t as bioavailable as the naturally-occurring counterparts. So sure, you might be getting good-tasting milk, but it isn’t providing the same level of benefits.
Pasteurized milk often features lots of hormones and other synthetic byproducts. While many of these have no known side effects, we as humans haven’t been consuming them for very long. So the jury is still out on whether or not they are good for us over many years. It is possible to have pasteurized milk that hasn’t been homogenized and homogenized milk that hasn’t been pasteurized.
The main difference between homogenized milk and pasteurized milk is pasteurization is better than homogenization. Pasteurization has a small effect on the vitamins naturally found in milk. Overall, drinking pasteurized milk is still the safest way to enjoy the health benefits of milk.
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