Lisa Leake wonders why some brands of milk (especially organic milk) are sold “warm”:
Why is it that these small individual sized organic milk containers in the US aren’t sold cold? If you haven’t already noticed almost all the commercialized organic milk options here in the US are Ultra High-Temperature Pasteurized (UHT) – which is actually the same process widely used in Europe – but that still doesn’t answer why some versions are refrigerated and some aren’t. The only difference is the packaging. Just like the pictured Organic Valley “Single Serve” milk boxes, almost all European milk is UHT and put into what is called aseptic (i.e. sterilized) packaging. UHT milk can last for several months in this type of packaging without spoiling…at least until you open it at which point the shelf life does shorten and it does need to be stored in the fridge.
I remember buying and drinking this type of milk thirty years ago when I lived in The Philippines. As an American, it is really hard to accept the idea of drinking milk off an unrefrigerated store shelf. Yet, in many, many countries around the world, milk is not the staple it is here.
Read more about the process of UHT Pasturization here.