There is a lot of confusion and ignorance when it comes to milk options. Most people choose their milk based on habit or on what they’ve grown up with. Few are informed about the real differences between ‘fresh’ – what you find in the supermarket fridges – and Long-life or ‘UHT’ – what you find on the normal, open shelves.

Paul Mindry, SPAR Brand Group House Brand Manager says that all our milk comes from the same place – wholesome, pasture-fed dairy cows. “It’s the processing that differentiates how you see it in the store; milk in the fridges has been pasteurised by heating it to between 73 and 78°C for 15 to 18 seconds. UHT milk, which is found in the aisles, has been sterilised by heating it to between 135 and 142°C for 4 to 6 seconds, hence the term UHT (Ultra High Temperature).”

While both forms are tasty and filled with nutrients, there are some real benefits associated with the UHT option:

  • Storage: UHT milk does not need to be kept in a fridge. All bacteria was eliminated by the ultra-high temperature processing so keeping the milk cool is not necessary, even once opened.
  • Shelf Life: A closed box of UHT milk has a 6-month shelf life and once opened, will be useable for up to 6 days.
  • Less waste: If you’re not a big milk consumer but need it when you need it, UHT milk can be a lifesaver, and the fridge will extend the life beyond 6 days.
  • Price: UHT milk can be bought in bulk and stored so it is easier to take advantage of supermarket specials when they come up.
  • Preservative-free: Because of the sterile packaging used for UHT milk, no preservatives are needed so you’re getting preservative-free nutrition.
  • Safe: All the bacteria has been eliminated in UHT milk so there is no danger of ingesting anything hazardous that could make you sick.
  • Sustainable packaging: SPAR’s UHT milk has been packaged in fully recyclable material so there is no harm to the planet.

“SPAR’s UHT milk is particularly beneficial because of how we source it,” continues Paul, “it’s not something the public generally knows but we put special effort into our UHT milk – it is sourced locally which is quite something considering that UHT milk is relatively easy to import. We are also focused on sustainability at a grass-roots level and ensure that all the dairy farms supplying our UHT milk are audited on the management of their staff, animals and environment.”

Even if you a die-hard fresh milk fan, Paul says that the convenience factor of UHT cannot be refuted and every house should keep at least one or two litres available for those days when you don’t make it to the shop on time.

SPAR UHT milk comes in Full-cream, Low-fat and Fat-free and is available from SPAR Retailers, nationwide.