Consumers in Western Europe drink more UHT than ever. With a 100 % increase in sales of this type of milk over thirty years, long-life milk now accounts for half of all milk sales in the West European market.
Even countries with a strong dairy culture like Holland, Germany and Belgium have seen a strong rise in sales of UHT milk . In Germany, two out of every three litres is now long-life and in Belgium UHT dominates the market, particularly due to the fact that both production and distribution of UHT milk is easier than conventional milk.
In Denmark, however, the trend is going the opposite way – as evidenced in a recent AIM survey commissioned by Arla Foods. The survey reveals that more than half the consumers stop shopping in shops which regularly fail to supply fresh milk. Indeed, the greater the number of children in a family, the greater the demand for freshness.
In many Western countries even ”fresh” milk may be several days old when it appears on the shelves. Again, in Denmark, the situation is different in that the majority of Danish consumers only regard milk as fresh if it has been bottled the same or the previous day.
More than 50% of Danish consumers use the bottling date as a guideline when buying milk, the survey discloses. Equally, if the milk is not entirely fresh, 78% of consumers will by less of it.
During production of UHT milk (Ultra High Temperature) the milk is heated above 135 degrees centigrade for a minimum of one second. When fresh milk is pasteurised, it is heated to 72 degrees centigrade for 15 seconds.
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