The Consumer Education Project of Milk SA

What is the difference between fresh (pasteurised) and ultra-high temperature treatment (UHT) milk?

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Both UHT milk and pasteurised milk have the same nutritional content and are therefore equally good for you. Both products start off the same; the only difference is the amount of heat treatment applied during pasteurisation. Pasteurisation of fresh milk requires less heat for a longer time – 72 °C for a minimum of 15 seconds and then cooled rapidly to 4 °C. UHT milk, however, needs a much higher temperature for a shorter time – 135 °C to 150 °C for three seconds and then cooled rapidly. Heat treatment ensures that milk is safe for human consumption and extends its shelf life.

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