Cultured vs Pasteurized Milk: What’s The Difference?

cultured vs pasteurized milk
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cultured vs pasteurized milk

Be it coffee or making smoothies, milk is an important part of every household and kitchen in general. However, there are various forms of milk available in the market and some people are wondering about cultured vs. pasteurized milk. Although the differences are minor, we are still adding every bit of difference between these two options!

Cultured vs Pasteurized Milk

Cultured Milk

In the first place, this is the milk which is either partly skimmed or fully skimmed through the addition of lactic acid. However, the bacteria culture is added for this reason. As far as culturing the milk is concerned, the milk is usually pasteurized. After pasteurization, the milk is fermented and then the bacteria culture of lactic acid is added. The prime reason that cultured milk gained popularity is that there were no refrigerators in the early days and culturing helped enhance the shelf life of milk.

With this being said, when compared to raw milk, cultured milk usually has a better shelf life. Also, keep in mind that even if the milk is not pasteurized before culturing, it still lasts longer. On the contrary, in today’s world, milk is usually cultured after pasteurization because various laws inhibit the sales of products if they aren’t pasteurized. This is because milk is used for creating new recipes and dairy products and have different taste configurations.

To be honest, there are various cultured milk products. While making the cultured milk products, the bacteria is added because it helps variate the taste and thickness. When the bacteria culture is added to milk, it makes a perfect initial product for making other products. Yogurt is one such example since it is made by adding bacteria to cultured milk, and in some cases, various types of bacteria are added as well. On a commercial level, millions of bacteria are added for making yogurt.

In addition to yogurt, kefir, buttermilk, and sour cream are made with cultured milk. For instance, buttermilk is made by skimming the milk and adding pasteurized as well as fermented milk to it. On the other hand, kefir is made by fermenting milk and kefir grains together. As a result, the yogurt-like product is made but the taste is usually tangier. In addition, the availability of various probiotics adds to health benefits.

When it comes down to the sour cream, the same bacteria culture of lactic acid is added to the cream which leads to the tarty and sour cream. On the contrary, people often ask if the cultured cheese is pasteurized. So, the cultured cheese in the United States is surely pasteurized since they have laws that depict cheese manufacturing from pasteurized milk. However, some areas of Europe use unpasteurized and raw milk for making cheese

As far as the nutrients are concerned, adding bacteria helps enhance the nutrition count. This is because lactic acid has a healthy bacterial count and often helps with digestion. In addition, the immune system is boosted and can even help with weight loss. Above all, cultured milk is rich in vitamin-B12, calcium, as well as potassium.

Pasteurized Milk

The pasteurized milk is the one that’s treated at high temperature for killing the pathogens. This is to ensure that diseases don’t spread. When it comes down to pasteurization, milk is added to the huge vat, and heat is used for treating it. The temperature is optimized at 145-degrees and this temperature is maintained for at least thirty minutes to ensure pasteurization is complete.

Once this heating cycle completes, the pathogens are highly likely killed off due to heat but it still doesn’t have 100% pathogen elimination. With this being said, this milk is not sterile but the pathogen count is pretty less as compared to raw milk. As far as the consumption and uses are concerned, it is either used in baking recipes or is drunk. The pasteurized milk is usually a safer choice because it has only a few microbes.

We have already mentioned that the pasteurized milk has a lower microbe count since those are killed due to heat treatment but it can even reduce the nutrition count. However, if you buy pasteurized milk from the supermarket, it will be enriched with vitamins and calcium because companies add them artificially after the heat treatment.

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