Since the introduction of our long-life UHT milk about three years ago, we are being asked over and over again about the meaning of room temperature.
That is because our UHT, long-life milk has a description indicating that it lasts for a long duration of time on the condition it is kept in normal room temperature.
Here is one question I received from a customer just recently:
Would it be okay to store cartons of UHT milk in a rucksack in a car boot for several months? Obviously the temperature in a car can fluctuate from being very cold to very hot and I was wondering if this would affect whether the UHT milk would be safe to drink?
obviously, my answer to the above was a NO.
UHT milk will have the highest shelf life when unopened packages are kept in room temperature (20-25 degrees Celsius) and away from any direct sources of heat or light. As you mentioned it yourself, the conditions you described in a car for the storage of UHT milk are not really suitable conditions. So, we do not recommend drinking the milk you kept in such conditions.
So, what does normal room temperature exactly mean?
To make it short and easy to understand, normal room temperature is defined as an ambient room temperature in which it is comfortable for human to work and live in. The number is defined to be at 20 to 25 degrees Celsius or about 68 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit.
The advantage of a product that can stay consumable for a long period of time in normal room temperature is that the characteristic dramatically reduces the storage costs of such product for the distributor as well as the consumer.
As long as our UHT milk’s package is not opened and the milk is not exposed to open air, it remains suitable for human consumption. That is of course until the expiry date is reached.
Therefore, no special refrigeration is required to store the product at the storage or at home. And that is a huge cost saving for all.
This quality of the milk is achieved using a special heating process. In this procedure, the fresh cow milk is heated rapidly to about 140 degree Celsius and is kept at that temperature for only a short period of time. The milk is then rapidly cooled before being packaged in air-tight containers such as tetra paks or plastic bottles.
The procedure causes the milk’s protein to change in a way that the milk will last a long time in moderate and ambient surroundings.
The invention of UHT milk which originated in Europe brings the possibility of providing liquid milk to remote areas in the world where there is no efficient access to fresh milk.