Pasteurized Or Unpasteurized- Which Is Best?
At Shisler’s Cheese House, we home a number of cheeses soft, hard, blue- you name it. These cheeses are either made with pasteurized or unpasteurized milk, it usually comes down to the cheesemakers choice, however, some regulations restrict cheesemakers, for example, Stilton has to be made with pasteurized milk and Comte, which has been subject to many controversies, has to be made using unpasteurized milk.
The biggest wonders that come up when discussing the two kinds of milk are first, is pasteurized milk safer than unpasteurized milk? Secondly, does cheese being made with unpasteurized milk taste better?
The most important subject to discuss is obviously if pasteurized milk is safer. It is not an easily answered question, you need to look at the risks and safety concerns surrounding unpasteurized milk, first.
It is common that cheesemaking rooms will contain lots of different bacteria, mainly good bacteria, but then there are quite a few bad bacterias. Some of the bad bacterias that may be present can contaminate milk or cheese with E-coli, Salmonella, and Listeria. However, there are ways to keep these under control and minimize the risks. Some of these ways are actually part of the cheesemaking processes, such as salt dehydrates, these help a lot because a lot of bacteria requires moisture to thrive. Other processes include appropriate procedures during the handling of the milk, the cheesemaking and the maturing of the cheese, shipping, and packaging.
What Is Pasteurisation?
Pasteurization is the process of heating the milk to around 160 degrees Fahrenheit for 15-25 seconds. This is to kill the pathogens which were mentioned above, not only that, but it kills pretty much everything else, which can be bad as some are important in cheesemaking as they act as a natural defense which comes from the milk. This process also allows for more errors as cheesemakers can become complacent which increases contamination risks. However, that being said, all cheesemakers that Shisler’s Cheese House works with, are never complacent and work to a high and safe standard at all times.
The main thing we believe is that with the safe and controlled handling of milk and cheese, whether it is pasteurized or not, the outcome will be the cheese that is safe to eat, with no significant risks either way.
Does Unpasteurised Milk Taste Better?
This question is equally as challenging as the previous one. Tying it back into how the process of pasteurization kills all bacteria, good and bad, a lot of friendly cultures essential for tasty cheese are destroyed and therefore they have to be reintroduced back into the milk after pasteurization. However, this still doesn’t help because the microflora is damaged and not passed onto the cheese no matter what. This poses a potential drawback in using pasteurized milk. That being said, it’s not justifiable to just say that unpasteurized milk is better, it is indeed a big factor for great cheese which has the potential to make better cheese. Then again, there are many amazing pasteurized milk kinds of cheese because of the skill of the cheesemaker.
In conclusion, cheeses which are made with unpasteurized milk are equally as safe to eat as those made with pasteurized milk and cheese which is made with unpasteurized milk has potential to taste better but that is just one of the factors that go towards the overall quality of cheese.
Is Raw Cheese Healthy or Unhealthy?
We’ve all eaten cheese at some point in our life, unless health reasons prohibit us from doing so. But what is “raw” cheese? No, it is not cheese that is not cooked thoroughly. Instead, raw cheese is made from milk that is not pasteurized. For a while now, food critics and health experts alike have continually debated the benefits and disadvantages that consuming raw cheese can have on one’s health.
Consuming unpasteurized cheese is considered the thing to do today, as buying artisanal foods as such is trending very high in today’s market. There are some who believe consuming cheese’s raw version is a healthier option than its counterpart, pasteurized cheese. However, as some would believe that raw cheese promotes health, there are others that contradict such claims.
As program director at Oldway’s Coalition, Carlos Yescas, noted, there are a number of benefits to eating raw cheese. Among the key benefits are the diversity of microorganisms that are contained within the raw cheese. While uncertainties still remain due in large part to the human biological response to these microorganisms, the majority of the microbes present in raw cheese have the ability to combat disease and bodily infections. While many folks have shown concern with raw cheese and its production, Yescas assures that at the forefront of safety measures for producing raw cheese, is the diligence in making certain that good milk is sourced. It is the cheese-makers utmost priority to ensure that quality of the milk is superior which includes animal living conditions, animal nutrition and diets and animal husbandry. Because of the great risk involved when not pasteurizing the milk, a great deal of time, energy and resources are invested in making certain the conditions surrounding the milking-process is pristine.
Raw milk also has similar nutrients that are normally contained in pasteurized cheese, such as protein and calcium, among others while tasting identical to their counterparts.
Normally, you’ll find the cheese-making process to use milk that has been pasteurized. The pasteurization process involves heating the milk to destroy and pathogenic microorganisms that might be harmful, while maintaining its integrity of nutritional quality. In some cases, the pathogenic microorganisms can make you fall ill, especially those with lower immune systems like children, pregnant and breastfeeding women, older folks and those with chronic diseases. It is best advised to not consume raw cheese if under these conditions.
THE FINAL SAY
A number of raw cheeses can be found at local markets, by local producers. It is of the utmost importance to check and ensure that the conditions and environment of where the cheese is kept up to health and safety regulations. If you decide to consume raw cheese, make certain you are aware of where you are buying it from and how the methods in which the producer treats and raises the cows for milking.