Wednesday, November 14, 2007

My Philly is Pasteurized! What is Pasteurization Exactly?

I always buy pasteurized milk and I’ve seen the term on many Philly cream cheese containers. Great … but what does pasteurization actually mean? After a little research, I found out it’s the process of heating liquids in order to destroy anything that could be harmful to your health such as molds and bacteria. Pasteurization is, in fact, an important part of increasing the shelf life of cream cheese. I gave a little history of Philly Cream Cheese in the blog last Wednesday, but incase you missed it, I’ll recap. We can thank Kraft research scientist Oscar J. Link for giving our favorite creamy spread a longer shelf life. He did this by creating a device that separated cream from milk. Link was able to decrease bacterial contamination by immediately packaging hot cream cheese curd, allowing the product to remain in its pasteurized state. This patented process proved so successful, Philadelphia brand's shelf life increased nearly 700 percent, from 18 days to more than 120 days. Now that I know what pasteurization is, I’m glad I’ve always seen it listed on my Philadelphia Cream Cheese containers!

Don’t forget to add today’s delectable cream cheese recipe to your collection:
Autumn Pear Crisps … they are great to make when it’s cold outside. Serve them with hot apple cider infused with ginger and cloves!

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