Longtime reader Justine wanted to know about Horizon Boxed Milk:
I buy these for my daughter (just the regular 2% milk) and have always wondered why they don’t need/are never refrigerated. Is there some weird ingredient they are sneaking in that I should know about?
What you need to know:
The boxed milk is perfectly safe and there are no shenanigans here.
Shelf stable packaging is achieved by pasteurizing the milk at a much higher temperature than normal (over 280 degrees Farenheit vs 180 for regular pasteurization) and immediately packing it into an aseptic (sterile) vacuum box. This process is also called UHT , for ultra high temperature of the pasteurization.
You can see that the ingredients are exactly the same as regular milk:
Organic Grade A Reduced Fat Milk, Vitamin A Palmitate, Vitamin D3.
The shelf stable milk can be stored at room temperature for several months, but once opened (and the vacuum is gone), it must be refrigerated.
What to do at the supermarket:
When you choose boxed milk, make sure the box is intact, with no punctures.
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