Raw milk obtained from cows and goats contain a high amount of pathogens and bacteria that make it unfit for drinking. Processing is a procedure by which the milk is heated to a temperature at which these pathogens are killed thereby making it safe for drinking for adults as well as children. Numerous advantage of this processing includes.
1. Destroys Bacillus Cereus and Brucella – Bacillus Cereus and Brucella are infectious pathogens causing diarrhea and fever respectively. They are present in the raw and unprocessed milk. These pathogens are destroyed by the processing procedure.
2. Destroys Mycobacterium Tuberculosis – Mycobacterium
3. Destroys Campylobacter Jejuni – This pathogen causes diarrhea, dysentery, cramps, fever and body pain in humans. It is present in raw milk of cows and goats and is killed during the pasteurization process.
4. Shelf life is increased – When the bacteria and pathogen count is reduced, the shelf life and the refrigerated shelf life is enhanced. Shelf life is the duration until which it remains fresh. The shelf life of raw milk is less than 2-3 days whereas the processed one has a shelf life up to 2-3 weeks. The shelf life depends on the type of method used for processing and the type of packaging used. It depends wholly on the percentage of bacteria present.
5. Protein remains unaffected – A myth prevalent among consumers is that in processed milk the protein content is reduced to less than half. In actual, the sterilization process does destroy some essential components present, but the nutrient contents remain almost the same.
6. Inactivate enzymes – Processing inactivates the enzymes such as lipase and protease thereby enhancing the overall quality. The lipase enzyme has the power to degrade the fat making it off-flavor. Protease destroys the protein content giving it a bitter taste. Presence of protease spoils the texture of the cheese as well.
7. Vitamins remain unaffected – Riboflavin is the main vitamin present and it is needed on a daily basis to maintain a healthy body and mind. It remains unaffected by the processing. Negligible loss of vitamin A, C, B is witnessed during this process.
Milk processing is done in numerous ways such as ultrahigh pasteurization, steam pasteurization, ultra pasteurization, etc. The main aim of all the processing methods is to make it hygienic and free of disease causing bacteria and pathogens without affecting the actual nutrients present.