Here’s how the two processes work.

How do I tell the difference?

You can tell which pasteurization process our milk has been through because it’s printed on the cartons as “pasteurized” or “ultra-pasteurized.”

A carton of milk with arrows pointing to where it says pasteurized on the label.

You might wonder why we do it both ways.

In some cases, it’s about where the milk is packaged. Many plants are only set up for one process or the other.

We use what we call “co-processors” around the country located near where our farms are. This reduces the energy footprint of Organic Valley milk. When the milk doesn’t have to travel far from farm to plant, it’s fresher when it gets to you, regardless of the type of pasteurization used.

Even so, we produce ultra-pasteurized milk because it extends the milk’s shelf life, which many retailers and consumers like. Ultra-pasteurized milk lasts three times longer than HTST processed milk because the higher temperature not only kills the usual suspects like E. Coli and salmonella, but UHT kills all other non-pathogenic bacteria that can cause spoilage, too. Because of this, UHT pasteurization gives you a longer “sell by” date at the store and more leeway in the fridge before you open the carton.

Food safety is a top priority at Organic Valley. That’s why our farmers follow USDA Organic standards, which includes requirements for how the milk is handled, and why every gallon of milk passes our own 57 quality checkpoints between the farm and your fridge. Pasteurization is just one step in our long food safety checklist.

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