See note on correction at bottom.

From “down under” comes news that is said to be the biggest breakthrough in dairy safety since pasteurization. It has been accepted as “an alternative treatment to pasteurization of raw milk” by Dairy Food Safety Victoria (DFSV) with financial support from both the Queensland state government putting in $190,000 and the Australian Federal Government $761,700.

Australia-based Naturo plans to roll out its Wholey Milk Co. brand, using the new “Haelen” technology beginning in March and April, serving retail outlets in Queensland during 2021, and then expanding internationally in 2022.

Naturo CEO Jeff Hastings says Haelen is a “gentle alternative technology” that without heat kills pathogens while retaining higher levels of useful vitamins, proteins, and enzymes that under pasteurization are damaged or destroyed. The reported retention of key enzymes should make the milk easier to digest than where pasteurization is involved.

And in addition to easier digestion, milk produced with the alternative technology has a shelf life that is four times longer than pasteurized milk.  Hastings says the new product will have a minimum shelf life of 60 days when refrigerated compared to 14 days for pasteurized milk.

Hastings says this will allow the milk produced with the Haelen technology to be shipped rather than flown throughout the world including places that have no access to fresh milk, and with refrigeration still, be fresh for 21 days upon the arrival.

The new technology is not like Ultra Heat Treatment (UHT), which like pasteurization is based on heat treatments, but rather is based on pressure. Hastings says the pressure results in a nutritionally superior product with a long shelf life.

Pasteurization involves heating to 71.7 degrees C for 15 seconds. UHT involves higher heat, to 140 degrees C, for just two seconds.

Its food safety claims included being the only method of killing Bacillus cereus, a pathogen commonly found in milk that sickens humans with vomiting and diarrhea and other symptoms. Hastings says the pressure treatment technology produces nutritionally superior, easily digestible milk with that long shelf life.

Naturo Group Inc. was acquired in January by Vancouver, BC-based  BevCanna Enterprises Inc.,  an infused cannabis beverage maker.

“The coming together of these two industry leaders will a create a comprehensive health and wellness beverage and natural products company, one that generates significant value for both organizations and brings together two exceptionally experienced and innovative leadership teams,” a take-over announcement said.

Correction: The original version of this story misstated the temperature used for traditional milk pasteurization. Milk is heated to 71.7 degrees C (161 degrees F) for 15 seconds for traditional pasteurization. The content in the story has been corrected.

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