Partial sterilization of a substance, especially milk or other beverages, by using heat to destroy microorganisms while leaving its chemical makeup unaltered. The process is named for Louis Pasteur, its originator. Pasteurization of milk requires temperatures of about 145 °F (63 °C) for about 30 minutes, or higher temperatures for shorter periods. The treatment destroys any disease-causing organisms (principally Mycobacterium tuberculosis) as well as organisms that cause spoilage. See also food preservation.
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