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Pasteurization: Introduction, Purpose & Types

Raina Rahul Agarwal 22 Sep, 2021 Food Safety No Comments



Pasteurization is a mild heat treatment that is used on a wide range of different types of food products for their safety and to extend shelf life. Pasteurization is the process by which heat is applied in the food or beverage to kill the pathogens. This process was first named after Louis Pasteur.

Louis Pasteur

He observed by applying heat at a temperature below its boiling point in wine can inactivate spoilage organisms. Later, he applied the same process in milk. Pasteurization extends shelf life via the inactivation of an enzyme that spoils food.

Pasteurization is the process of heating a liquid below the boiling point to destroy microorganisms. In 1886 Soxhlet proposed pasteurization to be applied to milk and other beverages. “It is the process of heating milk at least 63° C for 30 minutes or 72° C for 15 seconds. Time and temperature are very important factors for pasteurization.”


Pasteurization is named in honor of French chemist Louis Pasteur who invented Pasteurization in 1864 and this process has been in use since at least 1117 AD in china to preserve wine. 

Advantage Of Pasteurization

There are two aspects of the process of pasteurization

  1. Health Of Consumer: For the safety of the consumer because it destroys disease-causing microorganisms (pathogens) that may be present in milk.
  2. Quality Of Product: As it destroys spoilage microorganisms and enzymes that contribute their role to reduce the quality and shelf life of the product so it increases the quality of the product.

Disadvantage Of Pasteurization

  1. It diminishes the cream line or cream volume.
  2. Pasteurized milk may increase the renneting time.
  3. It fails to destroy the bacterial toxins.
  4. Reduces the nutritive value.

Commonly Pasteurized Product

  • Beer
  • Canned goods
  • Dairy Products
  • Eggs
  • Fruit Juices
  • Milk
  • Nuts
  • Syrup
  • Vinegar
  • Water
  • Wine

Types Of Pasteurization

There are mainly four types of pasteurization

1) High-Temperature Short Time (HTST) Pasteurization

  • The high-Temperature Short Time method is also known as flash pasteurization.
  • It involves heating milk to 71.7 °C  (161 °F)for 15 seconds.
  • This method is most suitable in the continuous pasteurization system.
  • Flash pasteurized milk can keep for 16-21 days.

2) Low-Temperature Long Time (LTLT) Pasteurization/Vat Pasteurization

  • This method is also known as Batch Pasteurization.
  • In this pasteurization, milk is heated to a minimum of 63° C (145° F) for 30 minutes.
  • This pasteurization alters the structure of milk protein making them better suited for making yogurt due to its prolonged holding period.
  • Vat pasteurization is commonly used in the dairy industry for preparing milk for making starter culture in the processing of cheese, yogurt, and buttermilk and for pasteurizing some ice-cream mixes.

3) Ultra- High Temperature (UHT) Pasteurization

  • This is a closed pasteurization method and can’t expose even for a fraction of a second during the entire process.
  • It involves heating milk between 135° C to 150° C for one to two seconds. After heating the milk at a high temperature, chill it immediately and pack it in an airtight container for storage.
  • UHT pasteurization remains the most popular milk preservation method for safe and stable milk except for the risk of milliard browning reaction.

4) High Heat Short Time (HHST) Pasteurization

This pasteurization is similar to HTST pasteurization but it uses slightly different equipment and high temperature for short time.

TimeTemperaturePasteurization Type
30 minutes63° C (145° F)Vat Pasteurization (LTLT)
15 Seconds72° C (161° F)HTST (High-Temperature Short Time)
1.0 Second89° C (191° F)HHST ( Higher Heat Shorter Time)
0.5 Second90° C (194° F)HHST
0.1 Second94 C (201 F)HHST
0.05 Second96° C (204° F)HHST
0.01 Second100° C (212° F)HHST
1.0-2.0 Second138° C (280°F)UHT

Facts About Pasteurization

  • Pasteurized milk has long shelf life it does not mean that it is safe to leave milk out of the refrigerator for an extended time.
  • The heating above 60° C can break down some protein and heat-denatured protein may even be more easily digested.


Frequently Asked Question

Question- Who has invented pasteurization?
Answer- Louis Pasteur has invented pasteurization.

Question-What are the benefits of pasteurization?
Answer- Pasteurization provides many benefits, these include eliminating harmful bacteria-Listeria, Salmonella, campylobacter and E. Coli, etc. It prevents diseases like scarlet fever, tuberculosis, brucellosis, and Diptheria. It also improves the quality of the product.

Question- Why is pasteurization bad?
Answer- Pasteurization kills microbes and makes them less nutritive. some researchers said that pasteurized milk creates health problems including allergies, increased tooth decay, colic in infants, growth problem in children, osteoporosis, arthritis, heart disease, and cancer.

Question- What are the two common methods of pasteurization?
Answer- There are two common methods of pasteurization-

1)Low-temperature long time (LTLT) pasteurization   2) High-temperature short time (HTST) pasteurization

Question- What are the steps of pasteurization?
Answer- There are many steps of pasteurization:

  1. Milk Chilling
  2. Preheating (regeneration)
  3. Clarification Stage
  4. Heating section
  5. Holding section
  6. Cooling/Chilling section


Milk is an important diet for our health so it is important to pasteurize it to eliminate the harmful pathogen present in milk to make a safe product for consumers. If it will consume unpasteurized the harmful pathogen can disturb our health. Hence heating (Pasteurization) is an effective way to make a safe food product risk-free and it also enhances the quality of the product.


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author avatar
Raina Rahul Agarwal
My name is Raina Agarwal, and I am a seasoned content writer with three years of experience in the field. Holding a master's degree in microbiology. I have also garnered valuable experience as a microbiologist, with a career spanning over a decade since 2011. My diverse professional background enables me to offer unique insights and perspectives in my content creation endeavours.

Raina Rahul Agarwal

A Non-Medical Scientist, BSL-2 Lab, Mirzapur

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