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Scientists Find Chemical-Free Way To Extend Milk's Shelf Life For Up To 3 Weeks (digitaltrends.com) 258

An anonymous reader writes from a report via Digital Trends: Researchers at Purdue University and the University of Tennessee have found a non-chemical way to extend regular milk's shelf life to around 2-3 weeks, and without affecting the nutrients or flavor. The technology they've developed involves increasing the temperature of milk by just 10 degrees for less than a second, which is well below the 70-degree Celsius threshold needed for pasteurization. That quick heat blast is still able to eliminate more than 99 percent of the bacteria left from pasteurization. "The developed technology uses low temperature, short time (LTST) in a process that disperses milk in the form of droplets with low heat/pressure variation over a short treatment time in conjunction with pasteurization," Bruce Applegate, Purdue's associate professor in the Department of Food Science, explained to Digital Trends. "The resultant product was subjected to a taste panel and participants had equal or greater preference for the LTST pasteurized milk compared to normally pasteurized milk. The shelf was determined to be a minimum of two weeks longer than the standard shelf life from pasteurization alone." As for whether or not this method will make its way to store shelves, it won't in the near future. "Currently an Ohio-based milk processor is using this technology and distributing the milk," Applegate says. "The unit is approved for processing milk in Ohio and distribution nationwide. The product is currently being distributed, however it has not been labeled as extended shelf life milk. Once the commercial application is validated the milk will be labelled with the extended shelf life." Scientists from Duke University believe there may be a large source of hydrogen gas under the ocean, caused by rocks forming from fast-spreading tectonic plates.
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Scientists Find Chemical-Free Way To Extend Milk's Shelf Life For Up To 3 Weeks

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  • uhh (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 22, 2016 @06:08AM (#52559387)

    What does hydrogen found under tectonic plates have to do with milk pasteurization? Is this some kind of reading proficiency test?

  • by OzPeter ( 195038 ) on Friday July 22, 2016 @06:08AM (#52559389)

    Jeez .. are you just adding links to the end to stories just for the hell of it? WTF does the hydrogen one have to do with milk in the first place?

    It's doing shit like this that pisses off regulars and drives people away. Just check out how people felt about the last lot of overlords.

    The only conclusion I can come to is that you are Timmmmah in disguise (albeit a bad one). So quit making a fool of your self and just leave well enough alone.

    • by pellik ( 193063 )
      Maybe he meant to add that link to the story below this one that is about hydrogen.
      • That link is to the story immediately below this one. As bad as the editors are I doubt he meant to add that link to the story below to the story below.
    • The only conclusion I can come to is that you are Timmmmah in disguise (albeit a bad one). So quit making a fool of your self and just leave well enough alone.

      Maybe he recently joined the American Non Sequitur Society [anvari.org].

    • by gnunick ( 701343 )

      Yesterday I ridiculed someone for complaining about an [un]related article link, because one line at the bottom of a summary seemed like such a stupid thing to complain about. It's still think it's a stupid thing to complain about. Why would this drive anyone away? I'm sure most of the people who would be driven away by stupid things said on slashdot would have left after their first visit.

      But I have to concede that this was the stupidest, completely un-related "related" link I've seen yet. I almost felt

  • by wonkey_monkey ( 2592601 ) on Friday July 22, 2016 @06:38AM (#52559471) Homepage

    The technology they've developed involves increasing the temperature of milk by just 10 degrees for less than a second, which is well below the 70-degree Celsius threshold needed for pasteurization.

    What temperature do they increase the milk from? You can't say an increase of 10 degrees is "well below" an absolute measurement of 70 degrees.

    Scientists from Duke University believe there may be a large source of hydrogen gas under the ocean, caused by rocks forming from fast-spreading tectonic plates.

    ...what?

  • by thegarbz ( 1787294 ) on Friday July 22, 2016 @06:52AM (#52559531)

    Scientists from Duke University believe there may be a large source of hydrogen gas under the ocean, caused by rocks forming from fast-spreading tectonic plates

    Not only am I getting really sick of seeing link backs to stories which are often literally less than a day old, but in this case it is completely irrelevant.

    Links back to relevant stories are not bad, but they only make sense when they are related, of really really important significance, or old enough that they aren't in the immediate memory of the readership.

    This is journalism 101 type stuff.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      BeauHD has proven to be a complete jackass. This is embarrasing and ridiculous.

    • This is journalism 101 type stuff.

      Ha, you used the word "journalism" on /. - funny.

  • participants had equal or greater preference for the LTST pasteurized milk compared to normally pasteurized milk. [...] Scientists from Duke University believe there may be a large source of hydrogen gas under the ocean

    I'd certainly like my milk to stay fresh longer, but hauling it down under the ocean, and mixing it with hydrogen sounds far too challenging a process to realistically commercialize.

    The shelf was determined to be a minimum of two weeks longer than the standard shelf life from pasteurization

  • Currently in the UK I can buy regular pasteurized milk which can be homogenized or not and lasts about a week, or "filtered" but still regularly pasteurized milk (e.g. Cravendale) which lasts 2-3 weeks. What's the difference with this new process? I seems to still require the regular pasteurization and adds an extra heating to get the same effect as the "filtering". Note that I use quotes since I don't know what this filtering entails, so the question is whether this new process has any advantage over that

    • by bmk67 ( 971394 )

      Indeed - what does this process do that could not already be done?

      The milk I buy has been "ultrapasteurized" (2 seconds @ 280F) and is stable for 60+ days (at least 15 days after opening).

  • by dabadab ( 126782 ) on Friday July 22, 2016 @07:50AM (#52559675)

    Is it really something new or noteworthy?
    I am not sure about the US but here in Europe ESL milk (PDF) [dlg.org] is a pretty standard thing: it has a shelf life of 3-4 weeks and it is of course chemical-free.

    • Is it really something new or noteworthy?
      I am not sure about the US but here in Europe ESL milk (PDF) is a pretty standard thing: it has a shelf life of 3-4 weeks and it is of course chemical-free.

      I put a much longer explanation in a post above based on the actual scientific study. But from reading your ESL link, it seems there are a couple differences: the ESL process seems to be a variant on the UHT process with slightly lower temperature (but still way above normal pasteurization). Your link says that additional losses in nutrients and quality are minimal, but they do exist.

      This process is essentially an "add-on" to a normal pasteurization process which happens for a fraction of a second aroun

  • by codeButcher ( 223668 ) on Friday July 22, 2016 @07:50AM (#52559677)

    The technology they've developed involves increasing the temperature of milk by just 10 degrees for less than a second, which is well below the 70-degree Celsius threshold needed for pasteurization. That quick heat blast is still able to eliminate more than 99 percent of the bacteria left from pasteurization.

    So which is it? Do they first pasteurize the milk, then "blast" it with the 10 degrees? Or is the 10 degree thing the only treatment?

    without affecting the nutrients or flavor.

    As any hobby cheese maker will be able to tell you, pasteurizing diminishes calcium content by around half. If you google for cheese making instructions, almost all will tell you to preferably use unpasteurized milk, and if you have to use pasteurized, you need to add calcium. Calcium is one of the things needed for the fermentation processes. (UHT milk is strictly discouraged as about all calcium is destroyed, and the stuff one can add back is not of the same quality - cheeses with UHT milk usually flop).

    Obviously, a lot of other nutrients (minerals, vitamins, probiotics) are diminished. I'm not sure about the chemistry, but I assume it would not be elemental minerals, but some organic compounds being broken down so as not to be utilizable by biological processes (fermentation, digestion) any longer.

    Thankfully, in my country one can sell raw (unpasteurized) milk legally, provided samples are tested every few months for some pathogens - this is called "certified raw milk". My provider voluntarily does the tests once a month. I obviously use some of the milk fresh, which seems to last longer in my fridge than the commercial pasteurized milk. Most of it is used for feta-style cheese, one of the easiest cheeses (I know, I know, cows milk does not make "real" feta). I do not need to add any cultures, it uses its natural-occurring cultures for the fermentation step, I only need to add some coagulation enzymes. The cheese also differs light-years in taste from the chalky store-bought stuff made from cow's milk.

    And let's not get me started on taste. Just not comparable to the white stuff from the supermarket. The milk also comes unhomogenized, and somehow that cream just does it for one's tastebuds.

    Anyhow, as you may deduce, I'm a fan of making milk last for weeks in the traditional (and nutrient-enhancing) way: fermentation. Jogurt and kefir do last about double as long as the fresh milk, and can still be used instead of fresh milk in a lot of applications; cheeses obviously last for some months at least and be default only get better with age. Cream and butter also last a bit longer, and freeze well. Then there is the trip to the supplier every week or two to restock - for the few single days in between where your fresh milk is used up, there REALLY are other diet options, you don't need fresh milk every day.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by jabuzz ( 182671 )

      I am going to have to call you out on that. But heat treating milk whether it is for pasteurization or UHT, cannot and I repeat CANNOT diminish the calcium in the milk.

      If it did that would be revolutionary low temperature nuclear reactions that defied all known laws of physics and would most likely kill anyone in the vicinity with lethal doses of radiation. This is the sort of crap that Fleischmann and Pons where spouting and more recently Andrea Rossi.

      Whatever heat treatment does to milk and I am not going

      • by guises ( 2423402 )
        It was poorly phrased. Of course the amount of calcium in the milk remains the same, but over heated milk does seem to have reduced bioavailability of calcium [nih.gov]. The above poster's claim of a 50% reduction between raw and pasteurized milks seems to be really high, but I can't find any numbers on that. Pasteurization does reduce B and C vitamins in milk by about 5%.
        • It was poorly phrased. Of course the amount of calcium in the milk remains the same, but over heated milk does seem to have reduced bioavailability of calcium [nih.gov]. The above poster's claim of a 50% reduction between raw and pasteurized milks seems to be really high, but I can't find any numbers on that. Pasteurization does reduce B and C vitamins in milk by about 5%.

          So it was. Unfortunately that's the language commonly used in cheesemaking tutorials. Hence the 3rd paragraph in my original post. One day I might get around to read up on the actual biochemistry and be able to quantify more precisely, but for now I'm too lazy to do that and the cheese works out all right.

          About adding Ca: http://curd-nerd.com/calcium-c... [curd-nerd.com]

    • by labnet ( 457441 )

      I hear that in America, if you try to sell unpasteurised milk, they send a SWAT team. USA, USA.
      In Australia we have to buy it as bath milk... And as you say, it doesn't go off like pasteurised milk, but starts naturally fermenting and taking on yogurt like flavours.

    • by Nemyst ( 1383049 )
      While it's completely fine to use milk to make yogurt, cheese and such, you have to remember that in most countries, people buy milk so they can drink it. I wouldn't want to replace actual milk with anything else for that particular purpose, so having long-lasting milk is also important.
    • bacteria left from pasteurization.

      So which is it? Do they first pasteurize the milk

      Yes, that's why they're talking about bacteria left from pasteurization.

  • Fairlife milk has been on the store shelves for years.. Coca Cola owns it. I was a regular milk consumer - mainly because it was a cheap way to take in more protein. However, I was throwing a lot of milk away since it already seemed to taste bad even before it hit the expiration date. I tried the Fairlife milk and now I won't go back.. It tastes fresher than regular milk even a month after I open it. And, it has a higher protein content. Win Win.. I don't know what 'nutrients' they're throwing out of Fairl
  • The summary says: "As for whether or not this method will make its way to store shelves, it won't in the near future." This indicates that milk treated using this process is not available on store shelves. But then the summary says: "The product is currently being distributed." So I'm curious as to who they are distributing this milk to and what is being done with it?

  • by magusxxx ( 751600 ) <magusxxx_2000NO@SPAMyahoo.com> on Friday July 22, 2016 @09:57AM (#52560269)
    Or, how about we just sell milk in bag-in-boxes like they do in other countries. They can sit on the shelf for up to 6 months as long as they're not opened. Grocery stores could still refrigerate them so they're cold and ready to go when people get home.
  • Just ultra-pasturize. Whatever that means. I've had a thing of horizons milk in my fridge for a month and it's still as good as new.
  • by queequeg1 ( 180099 ) on Friday July 22, 2016 @10:53AM (#52560655)

    The designated hitter rule (already a subject of great consternation) will become much more controversial once the windfarms off Nantucket become fully operational.

  • Yep, remove all the chemicals from milk, and what's left will keep forever. As long as you can keep air from seeping into the resulting hard vacuum.

  • Who drinks milk?!?
    I haven't drank milk in years...
  • Ultra-pasteurized milk already lasts for three months.

    • by jandrese ( 485 )
      Ultra-Pasteurization caramelizes the sugars in the milk and throws off the taste.
  • There's a surplus of milk already, as dairy consumption is generally on the decline, at least that's what I keep seeing in the news...eg: Ontario dairy farmers dumping skim milk into manure pits and sewer lagoons [nationalpost.com]. Extending the shelf life is the last thing the industry wants - spoilage is helping them at this point..

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