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Data Loggers and the Milk Pasteurisation Process

Using data loggers to validate the pasteurisation process

At Signatrol, we work with dairies and dairy farmers throughout the UK who use our SL50 series of miniature temperature data loggers to validate their pasteurisation process. The data loggers are used to record temperatures at key points in line with food safety regulations. Our SL50 temperature data loggers are ideal for monitoring the pasteurisation process as they are highly accurate and can be set to log the temperature at 1 second intervals.

The data loggers are placed at various points to ensure the milk is heated to the correct temperature for the right amount of time before being cooled. The results are inviolate and can be used as part of a Quality Audit.


The importance of pasteurising milk correctly


If the pasteurization process isn’t reaching 71.7°C for the correct amount of time, then the harmful bacteria is still present in the milk. This can then go on to be consumed and pose serious health risks and in some cases cause deaths. Germs that can be found in unpasteurised milk include Brucella, E.Coli, Listeria, Salmonella and Campylobacter and depending on the amount consumed by an individual can cause sickness, vomiting and in extreme cases, paralysis and/or death. 

Signatrol data loggers used in the Pasteurisation Process


The SL51T and SL52T miniature temperature data loggers are only 17mm x 6mm in size and do not need any wires. They can be set up, placed in situ and left to log temperatures without any disruption to the process itself. The sample rate can be set from every second to every 60 minutes, ideal for the pasteurisation process which has a small time frame to reach certain temperatures.

Once the data has been collected, they can be removed and connected to the computer to display the readings as an inviolate record on our Tempit-LITE software. The SL52T data logger is also BS EN 12830:2018 compliant, which means it has an accuracy class of ±0.2°C.

The Tempit-LITE software is free and easy to use and enables full functionality in terms of issuing the loggers and storing the data. There is the option to upgrade this to Tempit-PRO which provides enhanced functionality and extra features including pasteurisation units (Pu). The Tempit-PRO software provides instant calculations to prove the effectiveness of the process. More information can be found here.

Please note that whilst our miniature data loggers are water resistant, they are not waterproof. Because of this, we advise our data loggers are used with our water tight enclosures to ensure the logger works as effectively as possible.

For more information about our SL50 series miniature temperature data loggers, you can download the full datasheet here.

Why our customers use our miniature data loggers to validate their pasteurisation process

Some of our customers have used our miniature SL50 series of temperature data loggers to validate their pasteurisation process because once in place they wouldn’t know they are there. They don’t cause any disruption and their small size allows them to be placed almost anywhere. They don’t have any cables or wires so cannot get tangled up with anything.


What is pasteurisation?

Pasteurisation is the process of partially sterilising a product to make it safe for consumption by eliminating pathogens and in turn increasin its shelf life. It is used widely throughout the food and beverage industry by heating and then cooling quickly to kill bacteria before being packaged. 

Which products are pasteurised?

Most people associate pasteurization with dairy products, which whilst correct, the pasteurisation process is used for other products including wine, beer, canned foods, juices, vinegar, water, nuts, honey and syrups too.

The pasteurisation process for milk

The process involves heating milk to 71.7°C for 15 – 25 seconds, and then quickly cooled to less than 3°C. This process is sometimes referred to as “High Temperature Short Time” (HTST). Please note the temperature ranges can vary depending on the country and/or product that is being pasteurized.


Campden BRI's validation study to optimise a thermal process 

The video below from Campden BRI explains how we can interpret and use results from a validation study to optimise a thermal process. There is a follow up video that can be seen here.

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