The dilemma of boiling or not boiling our favorite Indian drink, milk, has crossed many of us. With new technology coming in every second day, it is scary for us to let go of our ancient practices. It is this debate of what our parents followed and what we need to follow that let us to this pertinent question – Should we boil milk or not?
What is pasteurization?
A method invented in the 19th century, pasteurization involves heating milk to an extremely high temperature and then quickly cooling it before it goes for packaging or bottling. This helps keep the milk fresh. The method of pasteurization is best to kill bacteria present in milk which can be harmful to us. Dangerous bacteria such as salmonella can affect our health in more ways than one.
Will boiling pasteurized milk help?
While India is used to the tradition of boiling fresh dairy milk, experts feel that this practice has lingered on even with the newly packaged pasteurized milk. Professor Saurabh Gupta, Food Cooperation of India (FCI) says, “When we are heating milk to such a high temperature during pasteurization, we are increasing its shelf life. If we boil this milk further, we end up lessening its shelf life.
The newly packaged pasteurized milk is now fortified with the added benefits of many vitamins. If we boil pasteurized milk, we end up diminishing its nutritive value. ” “Pasteurized milk can be stored at less than 4 degree Celsius for at least seven days. If you boil this milk, you are only lessening this time period. The nutritive value of simple pasteurized packeted milk and tetra-pack milk is comparable. Boiling them will only damage their nutritive value,” says Dr Anil Kumar, assistant professor, department of food science and technology, GB Pant University.