Glossary > Pasteurized / Homogenized
Food Movement Glossary

Pasteurized / Homogenized


Pasteurization is the process of heating foods to kill pathogenic bacteria. The USDA regulates the use of this word in food labeling and in some cases may require certain foods to be pasteurized. Homogenization, when it refers to milk, is a mechanical process that breaks down the fat globules so that they are uniform in size and distributed evenly throughout the milk. Some milk is pasteurized, but not homogenized—that’s why it will have a “plug” of cream at the top.

Example of Pasteurized / Homogenized:

Commercial milk requires pasteurization and homogenization so that the milk is uniform in textural quality and safer to drink compared to raw milk.
For more definitions, view the Food Movement Glossary index.
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