Dr. Bruce Applegate from Purdue University discovered how to increase the self-life of milk from 2-3 weeks up to nine weeks. The method called LTST (low temperature, short time) is a process which fluctuates the temperature of the milk (changes by 10 degrees) but keeps it under the 70 degree Pasteurization temperature (low temperature). This process is in addition to pasteurization and is run by the left over (residual) heat from the pasteurization step. It kills all microbes to below detectable levels, what is left will take a long time to replicate. The process is efficient becuase it doesn’t introduce more energy into the system, only uses what is leftover.
Sensory panels find no difference in color, taste, or texture of the product compared to regular milk.
This is study is far reaching in the food science community. For the microbiology community this a breakthrough in an established processing standard. But the results on the dairy community, vary. Supply and demand for milk will change drastically when this hits the market. How will this affect the big companies (Prarie Farms or Deans), their shareholders, and their farmers? How will this affect the retail industry (walmart, meijers) when people don’t need to run into the store just to get milk and wind up buying other things?
These questions will be answered soon, but until then, the process will be heavily tested by the FDA and other researchers to support Dr. Applegate’s results. Read the article and Dr. Applegate’s report here.