The big question on everyone’s milky lips at the moment is ‘to raw milk or not to raw milk.’ We’re delving into the topic to find out the facts about pasteurised and unpasteurised and what the rules are for each.
Thanks to sheknows.com for these great descriptions.
Raw milk comes from pastured cows (cows grazing on green grass most of the year) and retains all of its fat. Raw milk has not been processed in any way, and it is non-homogenized (i.e., left standing, a “cream top” will form). It is considered a “live” food.
Pasteurized milk is heated to 170 degrees for 19 seconds to kill potentially harmful pathogens. Most milk, including organic milk, sold in commercial grocery stores and supermarkets is pasteurized.
Ultra-high temperature (U.H.T.) pasteurized milk, also known as “ultra-pasteurized” milk, is heated to 280 degrees for approximately two seconds (using superheated metal plates and steam), and then chilled. This process produces milk that has been completely sterilized, enabling it to have a longer shelf life (e.g., boxed milk shelved at room temperature).
The idea behind pasteurized and ultra-pasteurized milk is to destroy any potentially harmful pathogens in milk; however, many of the beneficial bacteria and enzymes present in raw milk are also destroyed.
Non-homogenized milk refers to milk with an uneven consistency — the fat has naturally separated from the “body” of the milk, forming a layer of cream that collects at the top.
Homogenized milk, on the other hand, has a rich, white color and smooth texture — the end result of an emulsification process called homogenization. At the turn of the 20th century, Frenchman and inventor Auguste Gaulin introduced a homogenizing machine, which could break up milk’s large fat globules into smaller, uniformed sizes that resisted separation and rising (i.e., no cream top). The modern homogenization process involves pushing milk through a fine filter at very high pressure, reducing the size of the fat globules so significantly that they are evenly dispersed throughout the milk. Homogenization usually follows pasteurization.
We think the preference of raw milk or pasteurised is completely personal… here are some links to arguments for and against so you can make up your own mind!
We have decided to use raw milk to make cheese and will choose whole milk or non homogenised gold top to drink normally, but I’m pretty sure now our first option will be kefir… More about that soon.
P.S There’s a great documentary with the ‘Moo Man all about MILK!