UHT stands for ultra heat temperate processed, or ultra heat treated. It refers to fresh milk that’s been heated for only one or two seconds at a temperature exceeding 135 degrees celcius, to kill off any bacteria. Although we associate the process, which has been commercially available since the 1970s, with milk, many other products are also processed in this way including fruit juice and cream.
The major benefit of UHT milk is that the shelf life is enormously extended – most treated milk has a shelf life of six to nine months in an unopened carton, compared to only a day or two for fresh milk. This makes it suitable for areas where there’s no refrigeration, as it can be stored at an ambient temperature. It’s also very popular in countries with hotter climates, which refrigeration is less efficient, and is more environmentally friendly than fresh milk, as the heat treating process requires less energy than the constant refridgeration required for the fresh product.
Although the milk retains a similar calorie content once heat treated, it does lose some nutrients, and the process causes the taste and smell of the milk to change. Once opened, UHT milk needs to be refrigerated and used as fresh milk.
UHT milk and coffee
For areas where there’s no or limited refrigeration available, such as offices or aeroplanes, UHT milk portions are the obvious choice. The individual pots reduce wastage through spillage or spoiling, and there are no hygiene issues.
Our UHT milk pots are a great value option for offices or caterers, and can be used anywhere. For more information or to see our range of other milk products, please visit our coffee ingredients page.