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Should you boil pasteurized milk?

Updated: Aug 21

Indian households have a traditional habit of boiling milk before consumption.

Most Indians drink pasteurized packaged milk instead of direct raw milk considering the quality and price.

Read more about the difference between pasteurized packaged milk and raw milk here


It is a general tendency to boil milk, but you need to understand which milk absolutely needs to be boiled before consumption and which does not. Only raw milk needs to be boiled before consumption to remove any possible harmful bacteria or enzymes. Pasteurized milk need not be mandatorily boiled before consumption as it undergoes a process called pasteurization.



Pasteurized Milk and Raw milk: what’s the difference?

Pasteurization is a process that heats the milk at a specific temperature for a stipulated time; this ensures the heat kills all of the harmful bacteria while maintaining its nutrient value..Before pasteurized milk was widely consumed, people used to get milk directly from nearby farms. This was followed by a process of boiling the milk at least once before consumption for safety purposes.


According to the Department of Food Science in Cornell University, pasteurized or boiled milk has a longer shelf life than raw milk. Raw milk may harbour E.coli, salmonella and other harmful bacteria. Bacteria in raw milk are dangerous for people with weak immunity, pregnant women, children and older adults.


According to the book Diet & Nutrition: A Holistic Approach by Rudolph M. Ballentine, the need to preserve milk has led to milk being pasteurized. Boiling milk just sterilises it without necessarily destroying its nutritional advantages.


It is therefore not necessary to boil pasteurized milk before drinking but if you do so, it is okay! The choice is yours...



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