Cultured Milk Vs Pasteurized Milk: Which One Is Better?

cultured milk vs pasteurized milk

Nowadays, one can quickly go into a supermarket and feel overwhelmed by different types of milk. This is because there are so many methods used to produce these diary products.

Moreover, each of them comes with several subcategories, making the differentiation extremely challenging, especially regarding the differences between cultured milk and pasteurized milk. 

If you also find yourself in the same scenario, today’s post is for you. Stay tuned for more helpful information.  

Quick Facts

Cultured milk: 

  • Add more microbes.
  • Fewer nutrients.
  • Maintain initial nutrients and vitamins.
  • Fermented.
  • A longer shelf life

Pasteurized milk:

  • Eliminate most microbes.
  • Full of nutrients.
  • Strip out natural nutrients and vitamins. 
  • Pasteurized.
  • A shorter shelf life.

What Are Cultured Milk Products?

In the culturing procedure, lactic acid bacteria transform milk into an excellent starting stage for multiple products, of which yogurt is among the most renowned names.

Yogurt starts with cultured milk as a base and then gets injected with additional microbes, generally a variety of them. As a result, there are usually multitudes of microorganisms in yogurt bottles.

Sour cream, kefir, and buttermilk are all examples of cultured milk that has undergone alteration fundamentally.

  • Buttermilk is a long-time worldwide classic that calls for milk filtration and then gets combined with fermented and pasteurized milk. 
  • In specific areas of Europe, kefir is the norm. People usually mix kefir grains with milk and allow the combination to ferment into what we call kefir. The procedure produces a product that tastes similar to yogurt but with a considerably citrusy flavor. This beverage also contains probiotics, which provide a variety of health advantages.
  • Sour cream is, as the name implies, soured cream. People usually introduce lactobacilli to cream when making it, leading to a thicker density and a sour flavor. However, to get classified as sour cream, the final product requires at least 18% butterfat.

How to Make Cultured (Real) Buttermilk

Making cultured buttermilk isn’t always a tricky task. Yes, it requires a lot of attention and care, but it isn’t difficult at all. Follow our guide below for a successful cultured milk batch at home:

  • First, take out a clean glass container and pour in ½ cup of cultured buttermilk. Then, add 2 cups of whole or skim milk.
  • After that, place the container on the countertop and let it develop for 4-12 hours. Notably, buttermilk expands optimally at 22°C or 72°F.
  • Finally, try your buttermilk. If it has reached the desired consistency and taste, place the container in the refrigerator for best storage.


As a first-timer, it might cost a bit more time before the buttermilk develops a pleasant flavor. Based on the condition of your buttermilk culture at the time of adding, the results will vary greatly. However, once the microbe culture forms, it will develop fast.

To retain a productive buttermilk culture, try to produce a new buttermilk batch every 2 weeks.

How to Pasteurize Milk

Pasteurizing your raw milk in the kitchen is surprisingly extremely simple. Since your milk won’t have to withstand long-hour shipment and extended preservation, you may successfully pasteurize it utilizing moderate temperature which shortens the pasteurization duration.

One stainless steel saucepan and the cooking thermostat are everything the process requires. For the best pasteurization, follow these effortless steps:

  • First and foremost, add your unpasteurized milk into the saucepan and let it sit for a few minutes before introducing heat. 
  • Then, utilize your double boiler, which helps to prevent overheating, to heat it up. If you don’t possess a double boiler, you may place your pan inside a bigger pot containing a couple of inches of water at the base. As an alternative, you may warm it gradually if you can’t get this configuration to work.
  • After that, gradually bring it to a temperature of 145 ℉ by churning it every so often. Regularly swirl the saucepan if you’re not utilizing a double boiler to minimize overheating it.
  • Next, control the heat at 145 ℉ for 30 mins. To maintain a consistent heat, you might have to adjust the temperature from time to time.
  • Subsequently, take the saucepan off the stove and put it in a washbasin or big container of cold water. Swirl continually until the heat comes down to 40 ℉.
  • Finally, refrigerate your pasteurized milk for better preservation.

Nutrition Differences

Pasteurized milk offers the benefit of killing the majority of microorganisms before human intake. On the other hand, the pasteurization procedure can reduce the volume of nutrients in milk as the heat strips out most nutrients.

However, when you purchase ready-made pasteurized milk in the store/ supermarket, it’s still rich in nutrition and other minerals, including vitamin B12. So it is since the factories have reintroduced these minerals back after the heat removed them.

Furthermore, since people supplement the milk with nutrients and minerals, the nutritions are not as natural to those who consume pasteurized milk as those who consume unpasteurized one.

On the other hand, when milk undergoes culturing, extra beneficial microorganisms get introduced to the milk, which helps to benefit a variety of the body’s functions. As a result, fermented milk usually comes with a distinct flavor and various health values.

Indeed, probiotics are abundant in all fermented milk products, including yogurt. These beneficial microbes can assist consumers with their metabolism, improve their immunity, aid in obesity treatment, and even prevent them from feeling fatigued all the time.

Aside from that, cultured milk also maintains all of the initial nutrients and minerals typically available in milk.

What Does Cultured Pasteurized Milk Mean?

In some countries, cultured milk could either get pasteurized or unpasteurized.

In detail, cultured pasteurized milk means refined products made from pasteurized milk. When purchasing cultured milk in the United States, most products have undergone pasteurization, making them completely safe to consume.

Is Cultured Cheese Pasteurized?

U.S. law mandates that cheese get manufactured from pasteurized milk since it’s a dairy commodity.

However, it’s not always the case. Some places pasteurize milk first before making cheeses, whereas others do not.

Indeed, fresh milk is the preferable ingredient to produce cheese in many parts of Europe and beyond. In addition, unlike in the United States, people in such countries get the freedom to consume unpasteurized milk. 

While some individuals prefer raw milk because it has a more nuanced flavor and is a more natural source of nutrition, this product can cause several health issues as it has not undergone proper heat treatment.

Can I use dairy to make cultured yogurt at home?

Yes, you can use dairy to make cultured yogurt at home.

To do so, you will need milk, yogurt starter culture, and a food thermometer. First, heat the milk to 180 degrees Fahrenheit. Then, add the yogurt starter culture and stir well.

Next, pour the mixture into a glass jar or container and place it in a warm location. Let the yogurt culture for 12 to 24 hours.

Once it has been cultured, you can refrigerate it and enjoy it.

Does the fat content in cow’s milk affect the taste of the yogurt?

The fat content in cow’s milk can affect the taste of the yogurt, but it is not the only factor that contributes to the flavor.

The type of starter culture that is used, the length of culturing time, and the temperature at which the yogurt is stored all play a role in shaping the flavor profile of the final product.

Additionally, some people believe that yogurt made with high-fat milk tastes creamier and richer than yogurt made with low-fat milk. However, this is a matter of personal preference.

Do makers have different settings for different types of yogurt flavors?

Yes, many yogurt makers have different settings for different types of yogurt flavors.

For example, some machines have a “regular” setting for making traditional yogurt, while others have a “frozen” setting for making frozen yogurt.

Additionally, some machines allow you to add your own ingredients, such as fresh fruit or honey, to create custom flavors.

If you are interested in making your own yogurt flavors, be sure to research the capabilities of your particular yogurt maker.

What is the best way to store homemade yogurt?

The best way to store homemade yogurt is by keeping it in the refrigerator. Yogurt will stay fresh for up to two weeks when stored in this manner.

Additionally, you can freeze yogurt for up to two months. To do so, simply place the yogurt in an airtight container and store it in the freezer.

When you are ready to eat it, let the yogurt thaw at room temperature or in the refrigerator.

Tamara Pierce

Tamara Pierce is a food writer at Elapasony, passionate about exploring diverse cuisines and sharing recipes and food experiences. From trendy restaurants to local hotspots, she's always on the lookout for new and exciting flavors.

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