Girl pouring milk into glass.
February 20, 2019

Benefits of Milk Pasteurization Confirmed--Again

 |  By: Jim Dickrell

The International Dairy Federation (IDF) has released a new technical bulletin today again confirming the well-established fact and practice that pasteurization is the best way to maintain milk safety.

Raw milk advocates assert pasteurization denatures the nutritional benefits of milk, but this new publication again debunks these claims.

“This Bulletin clearly confirms the public health advantages of milk pasteurization from a microbiological perspective and the scientific basis demonstrating that it does not affect the nutritional value of milk,” says lead author Kieran Jordan. “It is an important review that furthers our knowledge of food safety and quality.”

Pasteurization of milk involves heating the milk to at least 162°F for 15 seconds or to 146°F for 30 minutes, says Jordan. Such heat treatment is necessary to reduce pathogenic bacteria to an acceptable safe level and reduce spoilage organisms, thus extending the shelf-life of the milk and improving public health. The nutrition section in the bulletin also confirms that pasteurization has little impact on the nutrition of milk, including little impact on milkfat, protein, enzymes, vitamins or minerals.

It was prepared by the joint Action Team of the IDF standing Committees on Microbiological Hygiene, Nutrition and Health and Dairy Science and Technology. The publication is available for €40 ($45) here.