Pasteurization is the process and the result of pasteurize . This verb refers to the action of increasing the temperature of a food product in a liquid state at a level that is barely lower than that necessary for boiling, during a reduced time period. Then the product is cooled very quickly. In this way it is achieved eliminate microorganisms without modifying the characteristics of the food in question.
The term pasteurization or pasteurization arises from the last name of the scientist who discovered the process, Louis Pasteur , born in 1822 and died in 1895 . This man performed, with the collaboration of Claude bernard , the first pasteurization process in April 1864 .
It is important to keep in mind that, contrary to what happens with the sterilization , pasteurization fails to destroy all cells of thermophilic bacteria or spores of microorganisms in general. Its purpose, therefore, is not to eliminate all pathogens, but to reduce their populations so that the food in question does not generate a poisoning to the person who consumes it.
Some specialists claim that pasteurization could destroy vitamins of liquid foods and modify their flavor. These issues, however, have not been confirmed.
Thanks to pasteurization, it is possible to transfer the milk over great distances without decomposition. Dairy pasteurization also prevents diseases such as salmonellosis, polio, tuberculosis, diphtheria, typhoid fever and scarlet fever.
In packaged juices, there are several types of pasteurization: there are unprocessed juices (raw) and others that undergo an ultra-pasteurization (sterile) process. East process The taste of the product does not vary and is extremely effective in this type of beverage, because it is an acidic medium. The most frequent microorganisms in juices are Bacillus cereus, and Clostridium botulinum and various types of Salmonella, depending on the fruit with which they were made. In these cases, pasteurization can produce a change in color, turning the brownish liquid; This is due to the deterioration suffered by polyphenoloxidase enzymes.
Bottled drinks, creams, ice cream, beer, wines and cheeses They are other foods that undergo pasteurization processes.
In each country there are specialized agencies that are responsible for control the quality of food; they investigate about the most recommended Pasteurization methods for this or that product and demand that all their distributors submit them to these processes. Some of these agencies are the USDA (responsible for food control in the United States) and the Food Standards Agency (which performs the same activity in the United Kingdom). It is necessary to mention that pasteurization standards vary for each food, and may differ between products made from the same raw material, as is the case with cheese and yogurt.
The subject of pasteurization has been the focus of debates on more than one occasion. With regard to milk, for example, it has been found that many microorganisms managed to develop a defense against this decrease in their population with the temperature, calling into question the effects of this process. To corroborate the certainty of this investigation, tests such as the polymerase chain reaction that allows to know the level of survival of different kinds of microorganisms are performed. It should also be mentioned that it has been proven that under certain conditions, pasteurization can destroy the vitamins A and B, so this process is undoubtedly not efficient and has many questionable side effects.