Food & Travel

What is UHT Milk And What Are the Benefits of It?

Pasteurization has been the name of the milk game for a long time now. In our modern world, along with other health advances, scientists realized that if milk wasn’t sterilized after being extracted from the cow, goat, or sheep, toxic bacteria and spores can enter our bodies and prove to be potentially lethal. Normal pasteurization kills most of those germs, it doesn’t necessarily get rid of all of them. The solution? Meet UHT milk.

UHT, or ultra-heated milk has a shelf life of between 6 to 9 months. It’s basically ultra-pasteurized milk created to extend the shelf life of dairy products. Due to its unique composition and extended shelf life, you actually don’t need to refrigerate this kind of milk.

Parmalat was the first processor to bring the masses UHT milk, but when they came out in the 1990s, people were suspicious about the fact that this milk didn’t need a fridge. It turned out to just be a preference — most people prefer to drink their milk cold. Today, UHT milk lines our grocery store aisles and rather than advertising that you don’t need to keep it cold, they quietly kept it in the fridge and held onto normal packaging. Today, most of the milk in the U.S. is UHT.

Here are the top benefits of drinking it:

1. The most obvious. It doesn’t need to be refrigerated! A lot of us have minimal fridge space, and for it to last more than 6 months without a cold environment is pretty impressive. There’s nothing worse than hoping to wake up to a bowl  of cereal only to find curdled dairy. Goodbye spoiled milk!

2. Apart from the US, UHT milk is completely dominating China. Also, in Europe it’s been the norm for years- they just laugh if people show hesitation towards UHT milk, since it’s the norm.THey’re always ahead of the curve, so this statistic is significant.

3. One of the big reasons that milk drinkers in China switched over to UHT is because of the 2008 Chinese milk scandal. In it, milk and infant formula, along with other dairy products, were being infused with melamine, a deadly industrial compound that ended up causing infant and child health problems and fatalities all across China.

4. Haters will say that UHT processing damages the enzymes in milk, but the CDC and other health sources clearly state that the enzymes originally found in raw milk don’t do much for human health, so we’re not exactly missing out.


5. Packaging, storage, and transportation are all most cost-effective than non-UHT milk. Without the need of refrigeration after production, delivery, or arrival to the store (and eventually your home) the cost savings are staggering. No matter what country you’re in, it helps if a government and its individual are saving on money.

6. UHT milk containers are often larger than their competitors, which helps it go a long way, especially when considering its long shelf life.

7. The product is higher quality due to the D and Z valves in UHT milk. It is processed in less time due to the high temperature, leading to an advantageous and tasty product.

8. Fresh, or raw, milk contains more harmful microorganisms, which UHT has no risk of. Bad bacteria, leave us alone! Based on that melamine scandal from just over a decade ago, isn’t it worth the peace of mind that you and your family will be ok?

9. Calcium, potassium, and magnesium in milk aren’t reduced in the creation of UHT, or long-life milk. We’re all looking to get in those daily vitamins without risking our health, so this is an added bonus.

10. UHT milk is generally slightly sweeter than its milky cousins, and is also whiter. These factors may make it more appealing to drink, and personally, we like a little natural sweetness in milk. So do most kids, making it easier for you to feed your children their daily nutrients without a fight.

11. For those still on the fence, organic UHT milk is probably the safest option on the market. It’s void of pesticides, growth hormones, and heavy metals. Plus, because it’s organic, it comes from some very healthy cows on thriving farms without the use of pesticides. With a new food scandal every day, this might be your best bet.

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