U.H.T. milk (Ultra High Temperature) also known as shelf stable milk. UHT milk is a product that Canadian suppliers offer as a substitute for fresh milk. It does not need refrigeration until after it is opened. The expiry date is usually good for between 6 and 9 months unopened and 20 days in the the refrigerator after opened.
Milk suppliers accomplish the long shelf life by ultra pasteurizing the milk to a temperature of 135°C for few seconds, eliminating much more bacteria than the normal method of around 72°C for 16-20 seconds. Aseptic containers assist in supporting the long shelf life.
Canadians are slow to embrace the use of UHT milk compared to their European cousins. France, for example, has over 95% of milk sold being shelf stable. Most Canadians are unaware that they are consuming many shelf stable products. Dairy creamers around the coffee machine at work, soft serve, organic milk, as well as in many prepared foods are examples. About 80 percent of all the organic milk sold in Canada and the United States is UHT processed.
The food service industry is offering long shelf life UHT milk products to allow for a more effective management of milk and dairy inventory. It is not more nutritious or does it have extra added health benefits.