A quick test for correct pasteurisation in milk

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A quick test for correct pasteurisation in milk

Pasteurisation (or pasteurization) is used in a range of liquid food and drink products to kill bacteria, making it less quick to spoil.

In milk this process is especially important – a recent study by the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) in the USA showed that the risk of a disease outbreak was 150x greater from unpasteurized or “raw” milk than pasteurized milk.

Milk must be pasteurized to kill off harmful bacteria, viruses and parasites – now there is a quick test to see if pasteurization was successful


Macherey Nagel offer a quick, simple test to check for correct pasteurization which gives results in just 1 hour.


The Phosphatesmo MI test strips by Macherey Nagel give a result in 1 hour to check if pasteurization was performed correctly. The test is quick and simple to perform, and only requires a small incubator.

Performing the test

Remove 1 test strip from the pack and dip into the milk sample for a few seconds
Shake off any excess liquid
Place the test strip into a plastic bag (included with the strips) – use a new bag for each test to prevent cross-contamination
Put the bag and strip into an incubator set at 36°C for 1 hour
Reading the results

If the strip turns yellow the milk was not sufficiently heated, pasteurization was not complete.

If the strip does not show any colour change, pasteurization was successful.

Equipment required

As well as an incubator that can hold 36°C, you need refrigerated storage to keep the test strips between +2 and +8°C.


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