pas·​teur·​i·​za·​tion ˌpas-chə-rə-ˈzā-shən How to pronounce pasteurization (audio)
: partial sterilization of a substance and especially a liquid (such as milk) at a temperature and for a period of exposure that destroys objectionable organisms without major chemical alteration of the substance
: irradiation of food products

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web The whey goes through a pasteurization process, and then it is filtered. Amber Smith, Discover Magazine, 16 Nov. 2022 With technologies like flash pasteurization or flash detente, modern winemakers can instantaneously heat and then cool wine or grapes with little negative effect on flavor or freshness. Anna Lee Iijima, Chicago Tribune, 22 Sep. 2022 The industry standard for quality dating is 21 to 24 days after pasteurization, and milk remains safe for human consumption up to a week longer. Erica Smith Ewing And Daryl James, WSJ, 12 Sep. 2022 The brand’s use of cold-pressing to lock in nutrients and color without the need for heat pasteurization wowed our judges. Good Housekeeping, 28 June 2022 Chicago first city in nation to pass law requiring pasteurization of milk. Chicago Tribune, 26 June 2022 The Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine also notes that home pasteurization of human breast milk may help remove harmful viruses and bacteria, and its guidance includes directions for using a flash heating method. New York Times, 20 May 2022 The organizations collect milk from mothers and process it, including through pasteurization, then work with hospitals to distribute it. Hartford Courant, 13 May 2022 Normally, most of the bank’s stock is purchased by hospitals — after multiple screenings and pasteurization — for to babies in neonatal intensive units. Globe Staff,, 18 May 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'pasteurization.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

First Known Use

1886, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of pasteurization was in 1886

Dictionary Entries Near pasteurization

Cite this Entry

“Pasteurization.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition


pas·​teur·​i·​za·​tion ˌpas-chə-rə-ˈzā-shən How to pronounce pasteurization (audio)
: the process of heating a liquid (as milk) to a temperature high enough and keeping it at that temperature long enough to kill many objectionable germs and then cooling it rapidly without causing a major change in its chemical composition

Medical Definition


variants also British pasteurisation
: partial sterilization of a substance and especially a liquid (as milk) at a temperature and for a period of exposure that destroys pathogenic microorganisms
: partial sterilization of perishable food products (as fruit or poultry) with radiation (as gamma rays emitted by cobalt 60)

More from Merriam-Webster on pasteurization

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