lunes, 20 de enero de 2014

Pasteurization: How Heat Keeps Pathogens at Bay

Debate about Pasteurizing raw milk

Pasteurizing milk became routine in the U.S. starting in the 1920s. Today, a number of other products on grocery store shelves, including eggs and juices, are also pasteurized.
While pasteurization doesn’t kill all the microorganisms in our food, it does greatly reduce the number of pathogens so that they are unlikely to cause disease. And, like with Pasteur’s beer, it reduces spoilage organisms, extending our food’s “shelf life.”The method of pasteurization simply involves heating food to a specific temperature for a certain length of time and then immediately cooling it. Manufacturers use various time-temperature combinations when treating their products.
The specific temperatures allotted for pasteurization are based on the ability to kill the most heat-resistant of pathogens. Campylobacter will die pretty quickly at 72 C°, but processors need higher temperatures to kill.
Of course, pasteurization is in the news these days because of the debate about raw milk.
The market is growing of consumers seeking unprocessed foods or those wanting to support small farms. And advocates of raw milk defend it for a number of reasons, particularly arguing that pasteurization reduces the nutritional and health benefits of milk.
But, without pasteurization, E. coli, Campylobcater and Salmonella can be much more prevalent in the milk. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there were 148 outbreaks due to consumption of raw milk or raw milk products reported between 1998 and 2011. Among the victims, there were 2,384 illnesses, 284 hospitalizations and two deaths.
The health benefits that proponents are removed by pasteurization. Have not been clearly demonstrated in evidence-based studies and, therefore, do not outweigh the risks of raw milk consumption. The American Academy of Pediatrics, AAP said. “Substantial data suggest that pasteurized milk confers equivalent health benefits compared with raw milk, without the additional risk of bacterial infections.”

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