In 2010, Americans drank an average of 20.4 gallons of milk per capita. (1) Comprising the majority of beverage consumption for adolescents, and providing essential Vitamin D and calcium, milk has become a staple of the healthy American diet. Although it is now common practice to homogenize milk prior to consumer distribution, many people still question whether homogenization is necessary for both aesthetic and health reasons. Keep reading to better understand some common myths associated with milk homogenization, and the truths behind these misconceptions.
Homogenization prevents growth of harmful pathogens found in raw milk
It is easy to mix up the homogenization and pasteurization processes, especially considering that milk undergoes both. Pasteurization usually occurs prior to homogenization and works by rapidly heating and then cooling milk to destroy any harmful pathogens that are residing in the raw product. In contrast, homogenization utilizes high pressure and mechanical forces to push the liquid through narrow holes. This creates a smooth and homogenous mixture that can incorporate milk from multiple batches. It is therefore the heat-based pasteurization, and not the mixing from homogenization, that kills bacteria and inactivates enzymes. (2)
Essential nutrients in milk are destroyed by homogenization
As described above, homogenization uses mechanical forces and high pressure to achieve a smooth and consistent product. Exposure to heat destroys many key nutrients, but pressure and force does not alter their chemical structure. You may still be wondering, however, how milk contains nutrients if pasteurization, one of its preparation processes, does use heat. High pressure pasteurization, like homogenization, uses pressure to destroy harmful pathogens, and is preferable to traditional pasteurization in its ability to preserve key nutrients. Learn more about the differences between homogenization and pasteurization here.
Adverse health effects can result from drinking homogenized milk
Milk homogenization has been described as fuel for cancer growth and digestive problems due to protein polymers escaping the digestive process. However, there are few bodies of actual research indicating these claims to be founded. In fact, the benefits of homogenization are clearly seen across industries. For example, pharmaceutical products that are synthesized using high quality homogenizers are typically more effective, visually appealing, and overall higher quality than those produced using a low-quality homogenizer or none at all.
BEEI: Multi-Purpose Homogenizers
Regardless of the type of product your lab is working to manufacture - food or otherwise - its success will largely depend on the type of homogenizer or pasteurizer used. In this case, high quality equipment with effective product support is key. One such example is the high pressure homogenizer by BEE International Technologies. BEEI is trusted by researchers and lab managers around the world. Our high pressure homogenizers deliver an array of key benefits, such as production of nano/micro emulsions and dispersions, as well as lipids and suspensions. These can be used for applications across industries such as biotechnology, pharmaceutical, and food.
In addition, we have extensive experience in the challenges that our customers face as they transition from concept, through to R&D, clinical trials, FDA approval, and finally, to manufacturing.
Contact us today to learn more about how BEEI can support your homogenization needs. Want to know more about how to achieve efficient and consistent particle size reduction? Download our FREE eBook now: