How Can We Increase Milk Shelf Life?

Cow milk is known as a great source of calcium and nutrients for bone development and it is largely consumed by everyone, whether they are children or adults. It is generally exposed to heat to kill its bacterial content, therefore increasing its shelf life. However, do you know that prolonged heating can also reduce the nutritional content of milk?

susu sapiFresh milk. Source:

One of most commonly found bacterium in milk is Staphylococcus aureus. Upon its ingestion, the bacterium can potentially cause diarrhea in human. The most common method used to kill this bacteria is through heating. However, this may disrupt the nutritional content of milk, and therefore reducing its effect to our health.

1200px-Staphylococcus_aureus_VISA_2Staphylococcus aureus. Sumber:

And so, what’s the solution? In the industry, exposure to very high temperature in a very short amount of time or UHT (Ultra High Temperature) is the method of choice.

 susu UHTUHT milk. Sumber :

Other breakthrough technologies are also continuously developed for this purpose. For instance, Muslim and his colleagues offered another alternative: the pulse electric field method. This method involves the exposure of high intensity electric pulse, which kills bacteria in milk without changing either its nutritional content or physical properties. The technology has long existed, yet it has not be applied in the milk industry as a relatively less expensive and more effective solution.

pulsed fieldWhat happens to bacteria upon exposure of high intensity electric pulse. Source:

More information can be accessed here.

Based on this research, they expect that the pulse electric field method will be applied in milk processing, therefore cutting costs, increasing milk shelf life and overall leading to a more prosperous life among milk producers.


This article is created by Alberto Septian Wijaya, a student at the Biology Department 2017, for his Bioanalytical Chemistry class.

Editor: Elisabeth Rukmini

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