• Have ever gone to the kitchen for your cup of goodness before bed, only to discover there is no longer fresh milk in the fridge? Before the moment of despair hits at the loss of your hot beverage you remember the long-life milk carton in the back of the pantry. Your pure joy and happiness is then replaced by hindering thoughts:  

    • What is long-life milk?  
    • What is the difference between long-life and fresh milk?  
    • Which is better?  

    Long-life vs Fresh milk

    All milk sold in supermarkets and stores must undergo the process of pasteurisation where milk is heated at a certain temperature which kills harmful bacteria. Fresh milk is heated for 15 seconds at between 72-74 degrees Celsius before it is then cooled down.  

     Long-life milk (also known as Ultra High Temperature milk (UHT)) is milk that undergoes a different form of pasteurisation than fresh milk.  

    UHT milk is heated at a higher temperature of between 138-150 degrees Celsius for about 2 seconds only. The UHT milk then has to be properly packaged in an aseptic or sterile manner. 

    glasses of milk
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    How does UHT milk have a long shelf-life?

    Long-life milk is said to have a decreased or reduced number of microorganisms and bacteria in comparison to fresh milk. This reduction allows for the milks ability to have a longer shelf life.

    If you have ever noticed people referring to a distinctive smell or taste in UHT milk, this taste and smell is also a result of the heat.  

     Another reason why UHT can have an extended shelf life is because of its packaging system which is specifically made to prevent and protect the milk from being contaminated or spoiled.  

    milk being poured into coffee
    Image: Pexels

    Which is better?

     Although many experts state that there is no difference in fresh or UHT milk, many have found that UHT milk does not have the same nutritional value as fresh milk due to the heating process killing both good and bad bacteria.  

    Ultimately, the choice in milk is dependent on the consumer and their lifestyle and affordability. If you are a fan of the distinctive taste of long-life milk and you struggle to finish a litre of fresh milk, then UHT is definitely a viable option.  

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     Feature image: Pexels