All condensed milk is pasteurized. Pasteurization is a process of heating a liquid, such as milk, to a specific temperature for a set period of time in order to kill any harmful bacteria or microorganisms that may be present. This is done to ensure the safety and extend the shelf life of the milk product.
During the production of condensed milk, the pasteurization step is an important part of the evaporation process. The milk is first heated to a high temperature, usually around 85-90 degrees Celsius (185-194 degrees Fahrenheit), and then it is evaporated under reduced pressure to remove a significant amount of water content. This evaporation process helps to concentrate the milk and create the thick, creamy consistency of condensed milk.
The addition of sugar to condensed milk also plays a role in its preservation. The high sugar content acts as a natural preservative by inhibiting the growth of microorganisms, including bacteria and yeast. The sugar creates an environment that is unfavorable for these microorganisms to thrive, thus helping to prevent spoilage.
Because of the combination of pasteurization and the high sugar content, further sterilization of condensed milk is usually not necessary. The pasteurization step effectively kills off any harmful bacteria, and the sugar acts as a preservative, making the growth of microorganisms unlikely. This is why condensed milk can have a long shelf life, typically lasting for several months or even years, when stored properly.
It is worth noting that while pasteurization and the addition of sugar help to ensure the safety and preservation of condensed milk, it is still important to follow proper storage guidelines and check for any signs of spoilage before consuming. If condensed milk is stored in a cool, dry place and remains unopened, it is generally safe to consume even after the expiration date. However, if there are any signs of mold, off odor, or unusual texture, it is best to discard the product.
The pasteurization process is a crucial step in the production of condensed milk, ensuring its safety and extending its shelf life. The addition of sugar further enhances the preservation properties of condensed milk, making it unnecessary for further sterilization.