Difference Between Pasteurized And Unpasteurized

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Last Updated on February 28, 2023

Can you tell me the difference between pasteurized and unpasteurized milk? Yes, and there is indeed a critical difference between them. With this, know that you can store pasteurized milk for a longer time under refrigerated conditions. In contrast, you cannot keep unpasteurized milk for an extended period. In this regard, pasteurized milk has a longer shelf life when compared to unpasteurized milk or raw milk. 

Moreover, both of them differ in nutritional properties. That is why it is essential to determine the differences between them. The main reason is that it will help you choose which option is healthier and safer for consumption. 

Unpasteurized Vs Pasteurized 

Unpasteurized milk

First and foremost, unpasteurized milk is essentially raw milk. Because of this, it mainly comes from cows. Also, it can come from various sheep, goats, camels, and even buffalos. Additionally, you can make different products with it. These include ice cream, yogurt, and cheese. 

Moreover, there are superior nutritional benefits, according to raw milk advocates. And because of this, pasteurization removes these health benefits. That is why local, natural, and farm-sourced foods are getting popular. Besides, its consumption is increasing since raw milk is healthier. But, health experts disagree, and they advise against consuming unpasteurized milk. 

Furthermore, unpasteurized milk is more likely to microbial spoilage when compared to pasteurized milk. The reason being is that it is rich in various nutrients convenient for microbial reproduction and growth. 

Additionally, unpasteurized milk is incredibly unsafe for pregnant women. Not only that but also there are to infants and the elderly. Bear in mind that regulations and laws of the marketable packaged raw milk vary from country to country. In addition to that, a few countries wholly and partially ban unpasteurized dairy. 

Bear in mind that manufacturers create unpasteurized milk under hygienic practices. Also, they do so in risk management programs. And they ensure that they do not expose it to heat treatment. Remember, any temperature-related processing modifies the nutritional quality. Likewise, it even changes the characteristics of raw or unpasteurized milk. 

Also, unpasteurized milk does not undergo any pathogenic microorganism elimination step. For this reason, you should only use or consume it within a day. It is, of course, opposite to pasteurized milk or heat-treated milk. 

Pasteurized milk

Essentially, the process of heating the milk to a particular temperature for a set of times is pasteurization. Because of this, it helps to eliminate the harmful bacteria present in raw milk. 

Afterward, manufacturers package the pasteurized milk into sterile containers under hygienic conditions. Examples include glass-bottled milk or Tetra packaged milk. 

For the most part, heat-treated milk aims to provide milk that is undoubtedly safe for human consumption. In addition to that, enhance its shelf life. In this regard, pasteurized milk or heat-treated milk possesses an extended shelf life. Thus, you can store pasteurized milk for approximately six months. 

Moreover, it is a famous heat treatment technique. In most cases, it gives long-life milk. But, it is still essential to keep it under refrigerated conditions despite all of that. The main reason is that heat treatment alone cannot eliminate all the germs in the milk. 

Furthermore, you can buy processed pasteurized milk in skimmed, semi-skinned, or whole product ranges. Although, you have to be aware of the downsides of pasteurized milk. It mainly modifies the color and flavor. In addition to that, it somewhat decreases the milk’s nutritional quality. 

Pros And Cons: Pasteurized Vs Unpasteurized

First of all, with regards to mineral and vitamin content, a hundred percent of it is present in unpasteurized milk. On the other hand, there is an elimination of iodine, Vitamin A, B-12, D, and calcium in pasteurized milk.   

For the most part, pasteurized milk represents a considerable fraction of total milk consumption in most countries. In contrast, unpasteurized milk represents a small fraction of the world’s milk consumption. 

Moreover, pasteurized milk differs according to how a manufacturer pasteurizes it. In addition to that, their fat content could be a significant factor. That is why pasteurized milk can be available in skimmed, semi-skimmed, and whole varieties. In comparison, unpasteurized milk can only be available in liquid form. 

Also, the world’s health agencies recommended that the community use pasteurized milk products daily. Remember, pasteurized milk hardly ever causes foodborne illnesses. 

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At the same time, they do not urge the community to consume unpasteurized milk daily. Keep in mind that raw milk is usually responsible for causing multiple foodborne illnesses. Also, unpasteurized milk has many pathogenic bacteria. These include Listeria, E. coli, and Salmonella. 

Furthermore, it is safe to say that pasteurized milk does not have pathogenic bacteria. However, it has some spores of pathogenic bacteria. For this reason, do not ever expose pasteurized milk to microbial growth. Likewise, it would be best not to store it under unhygienic environmental conditions. The reason being is that it will contaminate it with pathogenic bacteria that commonly originates from pathogenic bacteria’s spores. 

Immunoglobulin content 

During the pasteurization process, it eliminates the immunoglobulin content. Whereas unpasteurized milk still has immunoglobulin content. Keep in mind that it defends the body from infectious illnesses. 

Lipase content 

Unfortunately, the pasteurization process instantly removes the lipase content. But, unpasteurized milk has lipase content crucial for fat digestion. 

unpasteurized vs pasteurized

Phosphatase content 

Again, the pasteurization process gets rid of the phosphatase content. However, unpasteurized milk maintains the phosphatase that is vital for calcium absorption. 

Probiotic bacteria 

In raw milk, it still keeps the probiotic bacteria. Bear in mind that it helps to strengthen the body’s immune system. On the contrary, pasteurized milk does not contain probiotic bacteria. The reason being is that the pasteurization process removes it. 

Lactase-producing bacteria

The pasteurized milk loses its lactase-producing bacteria that help digest lactose in the pasteurization process. However, raw milk or unpasteurized milk still has lactase-producing bacteria. 


Ultimately, unpasteurized milk is healthier than pasteurized milk. The main reason is that pasteurized milk undergoes heat treatment. As a result, it removes the milk’s nutritional quality. And from a nutritional viewpoint, unpasteurized milk is indeed the best. However, it would help to consider that pasteurized milk is much safer than raw milk for human consumption. Because of this, you can use and consume pasteurized milk for daily consumption. 

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