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The Basics: Types of Pasteurization

Updated: Apr 30

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Many people know about pasteurization and its ability to make a safe product that is shelf stable, but did you know there are a few different ways to pasteurize your product? There are several types of pasteurization methods used in the food and beverage industry, each tailored to specific products and processing requirements. Here are some common types of pasteurization and the products they are typically used on:


1. High Temperature Short Time (HTST) Pasteurization:

- Products: Fluid dairy products (milk, cream), fruit juices, liquid eggs, soups, sauces, and beverages.

- Description: Involves rapidly heating the product to a specific temperature (usually between 71°C to 75°C or 160°F to 165°F) for a short period (typically 15 to 30 seconds) followed by rapid cooling. This method helps to retain the flavor and nutritional quality of the product while effectively reducing microbial load.


2. Ultra-High Temperature (UHT) Pasteurization:

- Products: Dairy and plant-based milk alternatives, cream, fruit juices, soups, sauces, and dairy desserts.

- Description: Involves heating the product to a much higher temperature (around 135°C to 150°C or 275°F to 302°F) for a very short time (usually 2 to 5 seconds) followed by aseptic packaging in sterile containers. UHT processing achieves commercial sterility, extending the shelf life of the product without the need for refrigeration until opened.


3. Low Temperature Long Time (LTLT) Pasteurization:

- Products: Ice cream mix, certain dairy products (cheese, yogurt), and egg products.

- Description: Involves heating the product to a lower temperature (typically around 63°C or 145°F) for a longer period (usually 30 minutes to 1 hour) followed by rapid cooling. LTLT pasteurization is used for heat-sensitive products that require gentle treatment to preserve their sensory qualities and beneficial bacteria.


4. Batch Pasteurization:

- Products: Certain dairy products (milk, cheese), egg products, and liquid foods with particulates.

- Description: Involves heating the product in batches to a specific temperature (usually around 63°C to 85°C or 145°F to 185°F) for a specified time (typically 30 minutes to 1 hour) followed by rapid cooling. Batch pasteurization is often used for small-scale production or for products that are not suitable for continuous processing methods.


5. Flash Pasteurization:

- Products: Beer, wine, fruit juices, and some dairy products.

- Description: Similar to HTST pasteurization, flash pasteurization involves heating the product to a specific temperature for a short period (usually a few seconds) followed by rapid cooling. This method is used to preserve the flavor and quality of heat-sensitive beverages while reducing microbial load.


Each pasteurization method offers distinct advantages and is chosen based on factors such as product characteristics, desired shelf life, processing capacity, and regulatory requirements.


As always, happy hunting!


The CVL Team

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