The brief heating of liquid or pasty food to 75 to 100 ° C is called pasteurization if it is intended to preserve milk, fruit and vegetable juices, liquid egg and other foods.


Pasteurization is the brief heating of liquid or pasty foods. (Photo by: crewcut /


The process was named after its inventor, the French biologist and chemist Louis Pasteur (1822 - 1895), who developed the method to make milk or fruit juices germ-free and therefore more durable.

Bacteria and fermentation-promoting mold and yeast are known as pathogenic microorganisms. These pathogenic microbes in a liquid food such as milk are destroyed by heating between 75 and 100 ° C, while at the same time vitamins, nutrients and flavors are largely retained.

In contrast to sterilization, the spores contained remain germinable. Therefore pasteurized foods have a limited shelf life.

Fish, crabs and crayfish tails pretreated with salt or roast are also pasteurized. These fish products can then be kept for at least 6 months.

Pasteurize milk

Various pasteurization processes are permitted for milk products:

  • Short-term heating 15-40 seconds to 71-74 ° C
  • High temperature 10-15 seconds at 85 ° C
  • Continuous heating for 30 minutes to 62-65 ° C

UHT milk is heated to an extremely high temperature of 135-150 ° C for at least 1 second. In the process, germs capable of reproduction are killed, but also valuable milk components are destroyed.