Why Does Some Milk Last Longer?
If you’ve ever bought Maola milk before, then you might have noticed that some of our milk products have a longer shelf life than others. While the Best By date on some of our milk lasts the standard 7-10 days, there are others that may last several weeks without opening. Why is that?
You might have also noticed this same trend with some organic milk brands. Some people believe that organic milk naturally lasts longer, whereas others think that preservatives have been added to extend the shelf life. Neither is true.
Instead, the Best By date of your milk is largely dependent on the method of pasteurization, which is the process of heating up milk to eliminate any bacteria, and naturally help milk last longer. Pasteurization was invented by Louis Pasteur back in the 1800s. However, it was a German chemist named Frans von Soxhlet who was the first to suggest that milk should be pasteurized to prevent spoilage and eliminate bacteria. Now, almost all milk in the United States is pasteurized before it is sold in stores. There are two main pasteurizing processes used at Maola — High-Temperature Short-Time (HTST) and Ultra-Pasteurized (UP).
HTST is the most common form of pasteurization in the United States. This pasteurization process involves heating the milk up to 161° F for 15 seconds, followed by a rapid cool down. This will give milk the “typical” shelf life of 7-10 days. The UP method of pasteurization involves heating milk up to 280° F for about two seconds, which eliminates not only salmonella and E. coli, but other non-pathogenic bacteria that can also cause spoilage. This process is what helps milk last from several weeks up to 150 days and does not impact nutritional value. No preservatives needed!
Check your milk cartons for the ‘Pasteurized’ or ‘Ultra-Pasteurized’ label to determine how your products are pasteurized. Our Maola Milk half gallons that are in a gable-top carton, single serves, and some of our quarts are Ultra-Pasteurized, which is why they have a longer shelf life than our other products. If you see a longer date on these Maola products, don’t worry! It’s not a misprint, and there are no additives or preservatives. It’s just pasteurized differently.