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IDF publication confirms milk pasteurization health benefits

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International Dairy Federation publication confirms process does not significantly impact milk's nutritional properties.

The International Dairy Federation (IDF) has released a new Bulletin that provides an overview of some key technological, microbiological and nutritional aspects of milk pasteurization and reaffirms that the process does not significantly impact the nutritional properties of milk. From an evaluation of the best available science, it concludes that drinking pasteurized milk is still the best way to obtain milk’s many health benefits.

“This bulletin clearly confirms the public health advantages of milk pasteurization from a microbiological perspective and the scientific basis demonstrating that it does not affect the nutritional value of milk,” lead author Kieran Jordan said. “It is an important review that furthers our knowledge of food safety and quality.”

“We are pleased to present this new publication on pasteurization, a process that is crucial for the dairy sector and a major tool for public health protection,” IDF director general Caroline Emond said. “Dairy safety is one of IDF’s top priorities, and there has long been a need for an updated review on milk pasteurization.”

The bulletin will be valuable not only to the dairy sector but also to other food sectors. The technology aspects cover different pasteurization processes and their verification. The microbiology aspects include information on the extension of shelf life and on the microflora before and after pasteurization. Finally, the nutrition section confirms that pasteurization has little impact on the nutrition of milk, including little impact on milkfat, protein, enzymes, vitamins or minerals.

The bulletin was prepared by the joint Action Team of the IDF standing committees on Microbiological Hygiene, Nutrition & Health and Dairy Science & Technology under the lead of Kieran Jordan.

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