Let’s ask the big question – Does pasteurization degrades your daily nutrition consumption from milk? Is it really desirable to pasteurize the raw milk?
Google “Pasteurized milk vs Raw Milk” and you will find thousands of article and research papers boasting of each side of the opinion. In the 21st century, an individual is far more exposed to illness and bacteria. While milk is seen as a great source of essential nutrients to prevent illness and staying healthy, it is also a point of attraction for many bacteria.
To prevent milk from getting spoiled early and stay safe from the bacteria, scientists developed the pasteurization technique for milk and dairy products. In this process, milk is treated with mild heat (less than 100 °C). Doing so sterilizes the milk by eliminating pathogens and vegetative bacteria, which ultimately extends the milk’s shelf life before the final consumption, and makes it safe for every age-group.
Why milk is pasteurized?
One of the well-known reasons is to extend the shelf-life so that you can store it for a longer duration without being spoiled from the pathogens and bacteria. But why you need to extend the shelf-life?
A simple answer is – dairy is not just about personal consumption but has also become an industry in itself. From fresh organic milk, A1 milk, A2 milk, to regular raw milk, everything is all about distributing milk from farm to home. Usually, milk is consumed at least after 24 hours of milking from the farms. With cities and towns getting more distant from the farms, it becomes essentially important to keep milk unspoiled and healthily for a longer duration. Consequently, pasteurization came to the rescue with the ability to eliminate pathogens and make milk safer & durable before it is consumed.
One more aspect could be the vulnerability of milk to become exposed to a large number of additional pathogens and bacteria in the farms. Usually, not all farm to home setups are equipped with the safety measures and equipment to prevent from this exposure. Moreover, during the whole process, of producing and delivering the milk to the final consumers, milk is exposed to uncountable vulnerabilities. Even if you mean to consume the milk before the natural spoilage, you are exposed to unlimited foreign pathogens and bacteria that can make you very sick.
Is pasteurization desirable?
Honestly, there is a lot of controversies about the question – if fresh organic milk should be exposed to pasteurization? Does pasteurization degrade milk quality or nutrient content?
A lot of stuff has been said about these questions after multiple types of research. Interestingly, most of the studies state that pasteurization does not affect milk nutrition considerably. Except for a slight change in the taste and smell, nutrients remain intact.
Raw milk without pasteurization is simply not safe as it contains dangerous bacteria like salmonella, E. coli, Listeria, and Campylobacter, which cause foodborne diseases like “food poisoning.”
Many studies state that fresh organic milk in its raw form is healthier for consumption. However, when it comes to the family’s health, you cannot compromise with the safety measures. Did you know that bacteria in raw milk can be extremely dangerous to people with weakened immune systems? Children, elders, pregnant women, and individuals with HIV/AIDS, cancer, and diabetes possess a higher risk of serious complications if the milk is not pasteurized?
Which one is better for your family?
So which one is better for your family’s daily milk consumption? It’s clear. We need milk to be pasteurized not just for extending the shelf life but also to make it safe for consumption by everyone. When you can be assured of the safety of the milk through pasteurization, why would you not want to consume milk in its safest form? – Pasteurized milk.
Pasteurization, in general, can kill the harmful organism from milk, which when left untreated may result into the life-threatening diseases such as listeriosis, typhoid, tuberculosis, diphtheria, Q fever, and brucellosis. All these bacteria can utterly degrade your health if you drink raw milk or eat dairy products made of raw milk.
The Verdict: Raw milk or Pasteurized?
Raw milk may be a little superior in nutrition content, but it’s also true that it is exposed to life-threatening vulnerabilities. Moreover, the farm to home delivery without pasteurization is a mammoth and nearly impossible challenge.
Ultimately, you don’t want to risk being exposed to harmful bacteria and pathogens. Pasteurized milk is full of original dairy nutrients, and is always safe for consumption. The choice is yours whether you prefer experimenting with your family’s health or just choose the safest form of the milk – the pasteurized one. To avoid the risks from dangerous bacteria in raw milk, and choose your milk and dairy products carefully after ensuring it is pasteurized one.
This post is contributed by Lily bhat, she is a Food expert, dietician and a health advisor. She is currently working for Frezu as an advisor. She covers the trends associated with food & health industry.