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To kill bacteria by heating milk or other liquids to moderately high temperatures for a short period of time. Milk must be heated to at least 145 degrees F for not less than 30 minutes or at least 161 degrees F for 15 seconds, and then rapidly cooled to 40 degrees F or lower. The famous French scientist Louis Pasteur discovered the process while he was researching the cause of beer and wine spoilage. Although pasteurization is used in beer processing and for some wines and fruit juices, the major beneficiary is milk. Pasteurization kills the bacteria in milk that were once responsible for transmitting diseases such as typhoid fever, tuberculosis, scarlet fever, polio and dysentery. Lactic Acid bacteria, which cause milk to sour, are not destroyed by pasteurization.

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