HTST vs UHT Mixes

Whether you’re a newcomer to the dairy industry or have been exploring it for some time, you’ve likely encountered the essential practice of pasteurization for dairy products. Pasteurization is a heat treatment process used to reduce harmful microorganisms in food and beverages, including dairy products. The primary purpose of pasteurization is to enhance the safety of the products and extend their shelf life.

In the dairy mix industry, there are two main methods of pasteurization: HTST and UHT.

The primary distinction between HTST and UHT pasteurization lies in the temperature and duration of heating. HTST pasteurization heats mix to a lower temperature for a longer period, while UHT pasteurization involves heating mix to a higher temperature for a shorter duration.

HTST, an acronym for High-Temperature Short-Time, entails heating mix to a minimum of 175°F for 25 seconds to reduce harmful bacterial load. The mix is then promptly cooled to below 40°F to maintain its freshness.

On the other hand, UHT, or Ultra-High Temperature, pasteurization involves heating mix to a minimum of 275°F for 1-2 seconds, followed by rapid cooling.

The different methods of pasteurization affect the taste and texture of the product. UHT products can have a slightly cooked taste. This taste alteration is often associated with the Maillard reaction, a complex chemical reaction between amino acids and reducing sugars that occurs at high temperatures. UHT products have a longer shelf life than HTST products. Many consider HTST pasteurized mix to have a fresher taste, and it must be stored under refrigeration for the remainder of its shelf life which is typically around 21-30 days. HTST processed mix is the most popular choice for successful shops and businesses. At Meadowvale, all our products are manufactured using HTST pasteurization as we believe in providing the freshest mix available to our partners.