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pasteurization

Meaning: the exposure of food (especially dairy products) to a very high temperature in order to kill bacteria that can cause food to spoil

For example:

  • Most experts agree that foods today are safer for human consumption than before the days of pasteurization.

  • Pasteurization prevents milk from going sour too soon.

Origin: Louis Pasteur (1822-1895) was a French chemist who is sometimes referred to as "the father of microbiology". He studied fermentation, and discovered that you could prolong the taste of beer and wine by heating it up and killing off the bacteria. Pasteur discovered the cause of many diseases and stressed the importance of sterilization. He convinced doctors that they needed to sterilize their hands and equipment before surgery.

Quick Quiz:

How does pasteurization prevent illness?

a. The sour beverage becomes tasty.

b. The solid turns into liquid.

c. The high temperature kills the bacteria.

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Contributor: Tara Benwell