What are the benefits of boiled milk?

In this brief guide, we will discuss the potential health benefits of consuming boiled milk and will discuss various recipes to consume boiled milk.

What are the benefits of boiled milk?

The process of boiling milk effectively eliminates numerous bacteria found in raw milk, thereby extending its shelf life. As a result, simply boiled milk can last for approximately 2-3 days when stored in an airtight container or bottle in the refrigerator at or below 40°F (4.4°C) (1)

However, some consumers may find the flavor of milk that has undergone intense heat treatment, such as UHT (Ultra-High Temperature) and sterilized milk, unappealing. 

This flavor is often described as “cooked,” “boiled,” or “cabbagey.” To address this, an alternative approach involves using temperatures above 100°C for shorter durations.

It is evident that temperatures within the range of 115-120°C for 1-5 seconds are more effective than temperatures below 100°C in extending the shelf life of refrigerated milk products. (2)

Why boil milk?

To ensure the preservation of milk quality and eliminate pathogenic and spoilage-causing microorganisms, heat treatments like pasteurization and ultra-high temperature processing (UHT) are necessary (3).

 An alternative solution to achieve this is through direct processes, including injection or infusion processes. Milks processed using this method at 138°C for 2-4 seconds are referred to as “ultra-pasteurized” in the USA.

These heat treatments significantly prolong the shelf life of milk. In fact, milk subjected to such treatments has been successfully stored for up to 150 days at 30°C with minimal spoilage levels. (2)

What is pasteurization?

Pasteurization refers to the heating of milk to approximately 72°C for a minimum of 15 seconds or 63°C for around 30 minutes, followed by rapid cooling. 

This method, also known as high-temperature short-time (HTST) pasteurization, effectively eliminates nearly 99% of the bacteria present in the milk. As a result, it safeguards the milk against spoilage and extends its shelf life. (2, 3)

What is UHT?

Ultra-high-temperature (UHT) pasteurization involves heating milk to approximately 138°C to 150°C for 1-2 seconds, followed by rapid cooling. This process enables the milk to be packed and sealed in sterile containers. 

UHT milk, when unopened and stored in the refrigerator at or below 40°F, can last for an extended period, typically up to 6 months. Compared to raw milk or simply pasteurized milk, UHT milk possesses a significantly longer shelf life.(2, 3)

How is boiling different from other heat treatments?

Boiling milk is a straightforward process that doesn’t require temperature gauges or precise timing devices like pasteurization does. 

However, there has been limited research conducted on the duration of the boiling treatment, the impact of boiling on microbial content, the preservation of milk quality, and the resulting chemical changes.

The duration of boiling can vary among individuals, with some individuals turning off the heat as soon as the milk boils and foams, while others continue boiling for 5 or 10 minutes. 

It’s important to note that the length of heating at such high temperatures significantly influences the quality of the milk. Boiling affect milk quality far less than the effect occurred in UHT milk (4)

What factors affect milk shelf life?

The safety and freshness of milk are greatly influenced by the storage conditions and temperatures it is subjected to. 

Mishandling, improper storage temperatures, or inadequate storage durations can result in milk contamination by harmful microorganisms, thereby posing substantial risks to public health.

Both the storage temperatures and methods employed significantly impact the bacterial count in milk and consequently affect its overall shelf life. It is crucial to handle and store milk appropriately to ensure its quality and safety. (5)

At what temperature does milk spoil?

When milk is stored above 40°F (4.4°C), it will eventually exhibit signs of spoilage such as an unpleasant odor, altered flavor, and curdled texture. At room temperature, milk typically remains fresh for about 2 hours. 

However, if the temperature exceeds 90°F (32.2°C), the milk’s freshness diminishes to just an hour. Milk is a highly perishable commodity due to its rich content of macro and micronutrients. 

Additionally, its formulation includes a significant amount of water. If milk is left out for more than 2 hours, bacteria and other microbes can easily contaminate it, leading to spoilage. (6)

What is the optimum temperature to store milk in the fridge?

For optimal storage, pasteurized milk should be kept in the refrigerator at a temperature range of 3-4°C (37-39°F). It is advisable to avoid placing the milk carton in the refrigerator door to prevent temperature fluctuations, which can affect its quality.

Freezing milk can extend its shelf life for up to 6 months, but it is recommended to consume it within a month to maintain its overall quality. Frozen milk may have a slightly grainy texture and separated fat, making it suitable for cooking or adding to smoothies and shakes.

To ensure optimal milk storage, the refrigerator temperature should be maintained between 38°F (3°C) and 40°F (4°C). (5) 

Other FAQs about Milk that you may be interested in.

Do Oreos Contain Milk

Does Oat Milk Make You Poop?

Does McDonald’s Have Almond Milk


In this brief guide, we will discuss the potential health benefits of consuming boiled milk and will discuss various recipes to consume boiled milk.


  1. Buehler, A. J., Martin, N. H., Boor, K. J., & Wiedmann, M.  Psychrotolerant spore-former growth characterization for the development of a dairy spoilage predictive model. Journal of Dairy Science, 101(8), 6964–6981. 2018.
  2. Lewis, M. Improving pasteurized and extended shelf-life milk. Improving the Safety and Quality of Milk, 277–301. 2010.
  3. Lu, M., & Wang, N. S.  Spoilage of Milk and Dairy Products. The Microbiological Quality of Food, 151–178. 2017.
  4. Metwally, Ahmed & Dabiza, Nadia & El-Kholy, Wagih & Sadek, Zeinab. The Effect of Boiling on Milk Microbial Contents and Quality. Journal of American Science Journal of American Science. 77. 110-114. 2011.
  5. Adda Bjarnadottir, Kelli McGrane, How Long Is Milk Good for After the Expiration Date? Them. Healthline Media LLC. 2020
  6. U.S. Department of Agriculture. https://ask.usda.gov/ Website. Washington, DC. What is the “2 Hour Rule” with leaving food out?.

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