Does boiling milk make it last longer?

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “does boiling milk make it last longer” with an in-depth analysis of the effect of boiling on the shelf life of milk. Moreover, we are going to discuss the boiling point of milk and the tips to store milk properly.

So without much ado, let’s dive in and figure out more about it.

Does boiling milk make it last longer?

Yes, boiling the raw milk does increase its shelf life and make the milk last longer. Milk is a nutritious food item that has high water content and provides a suitable environment for the bacteria to grow. Thus, raw milk, straight from the cattle (cow, goat, etc.) won’t last long as many bacteria have already found their way into it.

The boiling process kills many bacteria present in the raw milk, thus prolonging the shelf life of the milk. Thus simply boiled milk lasts for about 2-3 days in the fridge in an air-tight container or bottle at or below 40°F.

But it is worth mentioning that the particular method that we are using to pasteurize milk also determines the shelf life of milk. For example, the HTST or UHT pasteurized milk has a longer shelf life as compared to simply boiled milk.

Moreover, when it comes to packaged milk, there is no need to boil it as the packaged milk is already pasteurized.

What is the boiling point of milk?

So the boiling point of milk is a bit higher than the water but the difference is not that much. The boiling point of the milk depends upon several factors like the type of milk (whole milk, skim milk, 2% milk, etc.) and the outer conditions (altitude, vapor pressure, etc.).

What is pasteurization?

Pasteurization is the process in which we heat the milk to about 72°C for at least 15 seconds or 63° C for about 30 minutes and afterward, cool the milk rapidly. It is also known as the high-temperature short-time (HTST) pasteurization. This process almost kills 99% of all the bacteria present in the milk. Thus, it saves the milk from spoilage and prolongs its shelf life.

What is UHT?

Ultra-high-temperature pasteurization is the process in which milk is heated to about 138°C to 150° C for 1-2 seconds and is cooled down rapidly afterward. Packed and sealed in sterile containers, the UHT milk lasts for about a long time (6 months if unopened) when stored in the fridge at or below 40°F. Thus UHT milk has a longer shelf life than raw milk or simply pasteurized milk.

You can read more about different types of pasteurization here.

What is the nutritional profile of milk?

Milk is highly nutritious and contains a good amount of macro and micronutrients. Milk is a rich source of protein and contains about 7.7 grams of proteins per cup (240 ml). Milk contains about 80% of the casein while 20% of the whey protein. 

Moreover, milk is also rich in many vitamins and minerals like vitamin B12, calcium, phosphorus, and riboflavin. Some varieties of milk are also fortified with vitamin D which along with calcium plays an important role in improving bone health.

At what temperature does milk spoil?

Milk if stored above 40°F will start to develop the signs of spoilage like off-smell, off-flavor, and curdled texture after some time. Milk lasts for about 2 hours if kept at room temperature but if the temperature is more than 90°F, then the milk lasts for only an hour.

Milk is a highly perishable commodity and has a lot of macro and micronutrients present in it. Moreover, the milk has a lot of water present in its formulation so if it is kept out for more than 2 hours, bacteria and other microbes will find their way into the milk and will spoil it. 

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

You should always store the milk at 40°F or below. Bacterial growth takes place at a faster pace between the temperature of 40°F and 140°F, therefore it is always advised to store milk at a lower temperature to preserve its freshness and quality for a long time.

How can you store milk properly?

  1. Milk can pick up odors therefore it should be stored in an air-tight container or bottle in the fridge. Moreover, it should be stored away from strong-smelling food items like garlic, onion, etc. 
  2. It is better to store the milk on a shelf of the refrigerator rather than the door as there is a lot of temperature fluctuation at the door of the fridge and that can harm the quality of milk.
  3. Milk should be stored at the lowest shelf of the refrigerator as it is the coldest part of the refrigerator and has its temperature between 38 °F to 40 °F.


In this brief guide, we answered the question “does boiling milk make it last longer” with an in-depth analysis of the effect of boiling on the shelf life of milk. Moreover, we discussed the boiling point of milk and the tips to store milk properly.



Mahnoor Asghar is a Clinical Nutritionist with a bachelor's degree in Nutrition and Dietetics. She is compassionate and dedicated to playing her part in the well-being of the masses. She wants to play a fruitful role in creating nutrition and health-related awareness among the general public. Additionally, she has a keen eye for detail and loves to create content related to food, nutrition, health, and wellness.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *