Monday, November 17, 2008

What does raw hide?

Foodies, especially those who have lived in France and England, extol the virtues of cheese made from unpasteurized milk. Pasteurization does affect flavor, but it may be an effect that we can live with. According to research published in the November issue of the International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology, there’s a lot more in raw milk than previously thought.

"When we looked at the bacteria living in raw milk, we found that many of them had not been identified before," said Dr. Malka Halpern from the University of Haifa, Israel. "We have now identified and described one of these bacteria, Chryseobacterium oranimense, which can grow at cold temperatures and secretes enzymes that have the potential to spoil milk."

Debate continues to rage about the benefits and risks of drinking unpasteurized milk. Some people believe the health benefits resulting from the extra nutrient content of raw milk outweigh the risk of ingesting potentially dangerous microbes, such as Mycobacterium bovis, which can cause tuberculosis, and Salmonella species.

Pasteurization involves heating milk to 162 degrees for 15-20 seconds in order to reduce the number of microbes in the liquid.

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