Thermization is similar to pasteurization, but uses lower temperatures that stop short of pasteurization allowing the milk product to retain more of its original taste. Also spelled thermisation, this method of sanitizing raw milk uses heat treatments from 57 to 68C for 10 to 20 seconds to reduce bacteria in a process known as subpasteurization.
This process is not used on other food products. In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) applies the same regulations on all unpasteurized cheeses. Consequently, like raw-milk cheeses, thermized milk cheeses must be aged for 60 days or more before being sold.
Europe makes a distinction between cheeses made of thermized milk and raw-milk with different rules that date back centuries and can be difficult to grasp. While the European Union lacks an aging rule, hygiene regulations and safety practices for milk remain strict and cheeses made from raw milk are labeled as such.
Many kinds of cheese, including significant varieties of blue cheese, utilize thermized milk.
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