Applications / UHT Milk Pouch / What is UHT?

UHT Milk Pouch

Introducing the portable cow.

What is UHT?

"Ultra High Temperature" or "Ultra Heat Treatment" processing

UHT is a way to sterilise food by raising its temperature to very high levels (135-150°C) for extremely short periods of time (1-4 seconds).  Used for milk, but also cream, soy, yoghurt, wine and soups.

Why is it used?

It's all about extending shelf life and improving storage conditions.

Raw milk can usually be kept up to one week, but only if carefully stored at cold chain temperatures of 2.2-3.3°C.  Even so, it is a major source of food-borne illnesses.

Pasteurised milk offers a big improvement over raw milk, both for shelf life and food safety.  By treating milk at temperatures of 71.7°C for 15-20 seconds, most bacteria in the milk is neutralised. Pasteurised milk can retain its freshness for 2-3 weeks. However, the milk must also be carefully refrigerated during distribution and storage.  Furthermore, after a few weeks, spores not eliminated by the pasteurisation process will degrade the quality of the milk.

Prolonged freshness without cold chain

Even though it's only applied for just over a second, the high temperature of the UHT process is enough to eliminate the remaining spores in the milk.  When correctly packaged, this means the milk can remain fresh for several months.

Just as important, UHT-processed milk does not require cold chain refrigeration for distribution and storage until the package is opened.