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Apr 21, 2012

Long life vs fresh milk

Have you given UHT milk a fair go lately? It’s easy to forget about the shelf friendly staple, when many of us head straight to the supermarket fridge to buy fresh milk. The question is, how does UHT milk compare to its fresh counterpart? Does it have the same nutritional value as fresh milk and how does the heat treatment affect the vitamins in milk? Dietitian Glenys Kerrins, answers these questions and more.

Ultra Heat Treated (UHT) or long life milk contains all the nutritional goodness that you would expect from any dairy product and contains no additives or preservatives. Like fresh milk, long life milk is a rich source of over ten essential nutrients including:

vitamins A and B12
protein and,

The difference between fresh and long life milk is the method of processing. Fresh (pasteurised) milk is heated to 74°C for 15 seconds. Long life milk is heated to 140°C for two seconds and then packaged aseptically. The increased temperature at which long life milk is treated results in a greater reduction in bacteria and heat resistant enzymes in comparison to milk that undergoes pasteurisation – giving it an extended shelf life.

Long life milk can be used for cooking, the same way you would use fresh milk, but the advantage about cooking with long life milk is that it is already at room temperature, which as foodies might know, is a real positive when baking! The best thing about long life milk is that it can be kept unopened in the pantry for up to six months, which means no more unexpected trips to the supermarket. Once opened, UHT milk must be refrigerated and used within seven days.