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Chapter 7 : Pasteurization

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Pasteurization, Page 1 of 2

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Abstract:

Louis Pasteur's awareness of the fact that microorganisms can interfere with biological processes arose from his early experiences with alcoholic fermentation in Lille. Souring is one of the most common types of deterioration affecting wine; and Pasteur soon discovered that this change resulted from the oxidation of alcohol to acetic acid by a process similar to or identical with that carried out by the bacteria that carry out the transformation of wine into vinegar. These considerations led to the process of partial sterilization, which soon became known the world over under the name of “pasteurization” and which was found applicable to wine, beer, cider, vinegar, milk, and countless other perishable beverages, foods, and organic products. His treatises on vinegar, wine, and beer are illustrated with drawings and photographs of this type of equipment, and describe in detail the operations involved in the process. After he had developed techniques for the preservation of vinegar, wine, and beer with the use of heat, he took patents to protect the rights to his discovery. Pasteurization was not, of course, the first practical technique devised for the preservation of foodstuffs. In fact, many other techniques had been developed empirically in the past throughout the world, and are still being used today. Foodstuffs can also be preserved by radiation, and even though its use in foodstuffs has not yet been generally sanctioned, it is possible that radiation eventually will find a place in food sterilization and other technological procedures.

Citation: Dubos R. 1998. Pasteurization, p 52-66. In Pasteur and Modern Science. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818265.ch7

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Figures

Image of Figure 1
Figure 1

(a) In this house in Arbois Pasteur set up a temporary laboratory for studies on diseases of wine, (b) Laboratory in Arbois where Pasteur worked in the summers.

Citation: Dubos R. 1998. Pasteurization, p 52-66. In Pasteur and Modern Science. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818265.ch7
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Image of Figure 2
Figure 2

Pasteur's procedure for heating small numbers of bottles of wine. The bottles, held in a rack, were submerged in water in a metal container so that just the tops of the bottles were out of water. A gas fire was used to heat the water bath. During heating, the wine in the bottles expanded and tended to push out the stopper, but the stoppers were held with string or wire. A small amount of wine oozed out harmlessly from around the stopper. After cooling, the volume decreased in the bottle, creating a slight vacuum. The stopper was then hammered down firmly and the bottle placed in the wine cellar for storage.

Citation: Dubos R. 1998. Pasteurization, p 52-66. In Pasteur and Modern Science. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818265.ch7
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Image of Figure 3
Figure 3

One of Pasteur's designs for a larger chamber that could be used to heat up to 200 bottles of wine. Hot air rather than hot water is used. The gas burner at the bottom heats a metal plate. Pasteur recognized that in this apparatus it was difficult to get every bottle to the same temperature.

Citation: Dubos R. 1998. Pasteurization, p 52-66. In Pasteur and Modern Science. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818265.ch7
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Image of Figure 4
Figure 4

Procedure for heating small barrels of wine, of 30 liter volume. A metal container served as a water bath, with sufficient water added so that the wine barrel was covered just up to the bung (which was inserted loosely). The water was heated with gas up to a temperature of 70 to 80°C. It took 5-6 hours of heating for the wine in the barrel to reach a temperature of 60°C. As the wine expanded during heating a small amount seeped out through the bung; but only a small amount of wine was lost. After the barrel cooled, the bung was pounded down tightly and the barrel taken to the wine cellar for storage. Pasteur tested this method by leaving barrels of wine that had been heated outside on a terrace for many months. The wine retained its flavor and odor and remained perfectly clear.

Citation: Dubos R. 1998. Pasteurization, p 52-66. In Pasteur and Modern Science. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818265.ch7
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Image of Figure 5
Figure 5

Pasteur's suggestion for a device that could be used to heat wine in barrels in a large-scale installation. Pictured is a metal coil which could be inserted directly into the wine barrel through the bung. The apparatus was sealed loosely in the barrel by the cork stopper (). Steam passing through the coil heated the wine to the desired temperature. After the heating was complete, the coil was removed and a bung added. Pasteur suggested that such coils should be made of silverplated copper. In a large installation, the steam could be passed from one coil to another in series.

Citation: Dubos R. 1998. Pasteurization, p 52-66. In Pasteur and Modern Science. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818265.ch7
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Image of Figure 6
Figure 6

Nicholas Appert (1752–1841), the father of canning. In 1810, Appert first published a book describing his method for preserving foods by heating. Appert's method involved heating at a high temperature so that the food was sterilized. Pasteur later developed the method of heating at a lower temperature (partial sterilization) that came to be known as As Pasteur wrote: “When I published the results of my first experiments on the preservation of wine by heat, I was merely presenting a new application of Appert's method, but I was completely ignorant of the fact that Appert had thought of this same procedure long before me.”

Citation: Dubos R. 1998. Pasteurization, p 52-66. In Pasteur and Modern Science. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818265.ch7
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Image of Figure 7
Figure 7

Pasteurization of milk. Pasteur's method of partial sterilization by heat was gradually applied to milk. Initially there was strong resistance to pasteurization of milk because the flavor and color of this liquid is altered easily by heat. Eventually, appropriate methods were developed, and experience showed the public health significance, especially for infants and young children. The first person to pasteurize milk was the German chemist F. Soxhlet, who published his work in 1886: (a) Soxhlet's special bottle for milk pasteurization, (b) Soxhlet's home milk pasteurization apparatus.

Citation: Dubos R. 1998. Pasteurization, p 52-66. In Pasteur and Modern Science. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818265.ch7
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Image of Figure 8
Figure 8

Early scientific studies on the pasteurization process established the proper time and temperature that provides the best microbial control with the least disturbance of the milk. The neutral zone shows the time and temperature at which milk may be pasteurized with the least disturbance.

Citation: Dubos R. 1998. Pasteurization, p 52-66. In Pasteur and Modern Science. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818265.ch7
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Image of Figure 9
Figure 9

(a) The American philanthropist Nathan Straus was a strong promoter of milk pasteurization. Here is a photograph of the pasteurizing oven used in his New York dairy, (b) Van used by the Nathan Straus dairy to distribute pasteurized milk quickly throughout New York City, (c) Nathan Straus' first public milk station, on the pier at East Third Street, in lower New York City, 1893.

Citation: Dubos R. 1998. Pasteurization, p 52-66. In Pasteur and Modern Science. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818265.ch7
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Image of Figure 10
Figure 10

Citation: Dubos R. 1998. Pasteurization, p 52-66. In Pasteur and Modern Science. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818265.ch7
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