Pasteurization Is: Definition, History, and How it Works

Pasteurization is one of the things that Sinaumed’s can often see in several food or beverage products. Generally, you will find the term pasteurization in foods or drinks made from milk or the milk product itself.

After seeing pasteurization written on the food or beverage product you buy, Sinaumed’s may feel safer and more comfortable consuming the product. However, do you know what pasteurization actually means?

This article will teach Sinaumed’s the intricacies of pasteurization. Here, Sinaumed’s will study the meaning of pasteurization, the history of the discovery of pasteurization to how the pasteurization process takes place. You will also get information about the person behind the invention of pasteurization.

So, read this article to the end, Sinaumed’s

Know Pasteurization

From the explanation above, there may already be Sinaumed’s who suspect that pasteurization is a kind of method to secure and maintain the quality of food or drink. Here, we will study in more detail about the pasteurization process that is carried out to protect food or beverage products.

Basically, pasteurization is a process carried out to remove bacteria and germs that may settle on food or beverage products. The method is quite simple, which is to heat the food or drink, be it the container or the product directly.

The heating temperature of this product is usually not up to 100 degrees Celsius and is carried out within a certain period of time. Each product has a specific heating temperature and heating time, so it will vary from one product to another.

The target of the pasteurization process is to kill germs, bacteria or other microorganisms that have the potential to cause spoilage and make food or drinks spoil faster. Pasteurization also certainly aims to make food products or beverage products free from bacteria or germs that cause disease.

The person who discovered the pasteurization process was a French scientist named Louis Pasteur. For an explanation of the history of pasteurization and a brief biography of Louis Pasteur, it will be studied in the next session in the same article.

In today’s era, pasteurization is more often done for dairy products or canned food products. The goal is the same, namely to kill bacteria and germs that cause disease and also eliminate microorganisms that can cause spoilage and prevent products from lasting longer.

Even so, it needs to be emphasized that during the pasteurization process, there will be the potential for food and drinks to experience changes in the nutrients in them. This change is not that big and is caused by heating the product, so there will be a loss of nutrients.

History of Pasteurization

Before talking about the pasteurization process, it should be noted that the actual process of heating food and drinks to remove bacteria and preserve food has existed since ancient China. More specifically, this process has been going on since the 1100s BC.

Initially, this process was carried out to heat wine products with the aim of preserving the drink so that it could last longer. Information about this heating process was neatly recorded by a monk from Japan and found around the 15th to 17th centuries.

The process of heating food or drink continues to be developed by humans from time to time. Around 1768, a researcher from Italy named Lazzaro Spallanzani heated the broth, then immediately closed the saucepan and stored it.

He found that the broth was not stale. After that, the development of this food heating method continued. In 1810, after decades of experimenting, Nicolas Appert, a chef from France managed to find a method of preserving food which is known to be the earliest preservation method.

In this method, Nicolas Appert puts various types of food in a jar, then the jar is heated to a certain temperature. And the result, these foods can last longer. This became the forerunner of the pasteurization process as well as the beginning of canned food.

The first canned food that was preserved by the heated method was created by an English inventor named Peter Durand in 1810. The difference here is that Peter Durand used iron cans instead of jars to store these foods.

It was only in 1864, Louis Pasteur created a new method for preserving food and drinks. In this process, Louis Pasteur does not need to preserve food or drinks in containers such as cans or jars. Simply heating in a specific temperature within a certain period of time.

At that time, Louis Pasteur, who was on vacation in a region in France, found a way to kill germs from young wine. He heated the drink at a temperature of about 50 degrees Celsius to a temperature of 60 degrees Celsius.

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After that, he also discovered that this method could also be used to preserve other alcoholic beverages. This is the history of pasteurization. The name “pasteurization” itself is taken from the last name of Louis Pasteur as a form of appreciation for the discovery he found.

Pasteurization then became a way to kill bacteria and germs from a number of foods or drinks and spread throughout the world. Pasteurization is most popularly done for dairy products and at that time it was adopted by many countries to prevent the growth of germs and bacteria in milk.

How Pasteurization Works

As explained in the previous few paragraphs, the pasteurization technique is basically heating food or drink to a temperature that will not reach 100 degrees Celsius. This aims to kill bacteria and germs that cause disease and preserve the product longer.

Even so, please note that each type of food and drink has a different temperature for heating. Generally, this heating process is distinguished from the type of pH of food or drink, namely acidic pH and neutral to alkaline pH.

The bacteria and germs that are targeted to be killed are also different. In foods or drinks with an acidic pH or around 4.6, pasteurization aims to kill bacteria and germs such as several Lactobacillus species that have the potential to cause spoilage by deactivating a number of enzymes in the product.

Meanwhile, for food with a pH above 4.6, pasteurization is done to kill bacteria, germs or even mildew that could be present and cause spoilage and make the products spoil quickly, so they can last longer.

The easiest way to pasteurize is by boiling or steaming the product in water that has been heated to a certain temperature. And of course, the product must first be put in a container such as glass, can or plastic before boiling or steaming.

This boiling or steaming takes a different time for each product. This difference lies in what type of bacteria or germs you want to destroy so they don’t cause spoilage or make the product spoil faster.

The majority of bacteria or germs will die after 6 seconds to 7 seconds depending on the temperature used in the pasteurization process. It is unlikely that there will be bacteria or germs that can still live after this product has passed the pasteurization stage.

The pasteurization method can actually be done more quickly, namely using the ultra-high-temperature (UHT) method. This method may often be seen and found in packaged milk. This pasteurization technique is indeed quite often used for packaged milk products.

The trick, milk is heated at high temperatures above 100 degrees Celsius. More specifically, the temperature used will reach around 135 degrees Celsius. However, the process of heating this milk will not last as long as the standard pasteurization process.

It only takes 1 second or maybe 2 seconds to heat the milk. This aims to reduce the amount of content in the milk. Then, through this UHT process, packaged milk can be stored in the storage room for 2 months or 3 months longer than milk which is only pasteurized through a standard process.

Biography of Louis Pasteur

With the explanation above, Sinaumed’s can now understand the long process behind the food or drink we consume and we can store it even though it hasn’t been used up. We have to thank Louis Pasteur for discovering this pasteurization method.

You need to know that before the pasteurization process was discovered, there were many people who got sick or even died because they consumed food or drink that they didn’t know contained bacteria or germs in it.

Imagine if now, the pasteurization process was not found. There will be how many people who experience poisoning due to consuming food or drinks that contain harmful substances in them. Of course this is not what we all want, right?

It would not be an exaggeration to assume that the existence of pasteurization saved many people. Louis Pasteur managed to create a method that makes us no longer have to worry when consuming food or drink. And Louis Pasteur’s discoveries did not end with the pasteurization process.

In fact, little Louis Pasteur can be said to be nobody. He was born on December 27, 1822 into a poor family. He is also known to be not a very intelligent figure starting from elementary school to high school.

It didn’t stop there, Louis Pasteur also had no background in microbiology, something that was inherent in this scientist. He is a Bachelor of Philosophy at a university located in Besançon, a city in eastern France.

Eventually, his interest in the natural sciences increased. Initially, Louis Pasteur practically did not have abilities in the field of chemistry. In fact, this figure is even more reliable in the field of mathematics, getting a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and his chemistry grades are not so good.

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However, after trying hard to learn chemistry from attending classes to participating in research, slowly his ability in chemistry increased dramatically. Louis Pasteur even issued 2 theses, each discussing chemistry and physics.

After that, Louis Pasteur had several times become a lecturer or professor at a number of universities. He was even appointed dean at one of the universities he visited when he was asked to teach there. However, between teaching times, Louis Pasteur always found time to do research.

Quite a lot of research that Louis Pasteur did. This is because Louis Pasteur conducted research in various fields such as chemistry, physics, mathematics and biology. Nonetheless, it was biology that made Louis Pasteur famous.

More specifically, Louis Pasteur is considered to be the father of modern microbiology. His research on the pasteurization process cannot be separated from his desire to study and understand the microorganisms behind food spoilage and how to get rid of these microorganisms.

However, the research conducted by Louis Pasteur did not stop there. He also succeeded in discovering the theory of fermentation, in which he found out that fermentation occurs not because of the decomposition of food, but because of the presence of microorganisms such as yeast.

And the other most important discovery of Louis Pasteur is his success in finding vaccines for animals. Cholera vaccine, anthrax vaccine and rabies vaccine are all inventions of Louis Pasteur. This discovery is also as important as the discovery regarding the method of pasteurization.

With this vaccine for animals, livestock can be free from dangerous diseases that can attack them. More than that, humans can also survive because there are some of these animal diseases that can infect humans and can cause death.

If Sinaumed’s is interested in studying the biography of Louis Pasteur in more depth, you can read the book ” Series of World Figures 27: Louis Pasteur ” and the book ” Why? People – Louis Pasteur “. Sinaumed’s can also read the book “ Why? Experiment and Observation – Experiment and Observation ” if you want to find out more about the process behind the experiments and discoveries.




And in this last session, we will try to summarize what Sinaumed’s has learned in this article. These conclusions will later be formed in points with the hope that it will be easier for you to understand.

  • Pasteurization is a process carried out for food or drinks so that these products can be free of germs or bacteria and can last longer.
  • The pasteurization process can be done on various types of food or drinks. However, it can be said that the most popular types of products to be pasteurized are products made from milk.
  • The history of pasteurization begins with ways to preserve food so they can last longer. The discovery of the pasteurization process also went hand in hand with the invention of canned food which was more durable.
  • The way to do pasteurization is by boiling or steaming food products or beverage products that have entered the packaging, then heating them to a certain temperature. Usually it won’t get to 100 degrees centigrade.
  • The temperature and time needed to pasteurize varies from product to product. However, usually microorganisms in food or drink will die if heated to temperatures around 60 degrees within 6 seconds to 7 seconds.
  • There is also an ultra-high-temperature process, where pasteurization will be carried out at high temperatures up to 135 degrees Celsius, but the time is only about 1 second and can make milk last longer.
  • Is the figure of Louis Pasteur, who played a major role in discovering the process of pasteurization. Apart from the pasteurization process, he also played a role in discovering the theory of fermentation and also invented a number of animal vaccines such as anthrax vaccine, cholera vaccine and rabies vaccine.

The final conclusion marks the end of this article. Hopefully, Sinaumed’s can gain useful knowledge and insights after reading this article, especially regarding the topic of pasteurization and Louis Pasteur as a whole.

You can find the recommended books above on our website, namely . You can find other books from sinaumedia, #Friends Without Limits, according to your interests and talents which are expected to add to your knowledge and insights #MoreWithReading.

Author: M. Adrianto S.