Raise a Glass to Shelf-Stable Milk on World School Milk Day

    Tetra Pak encourages parents to make calcium-rich milk a school lunch

    TORONTO, Sept. 23 /CNW/ - Whether it's poured over cereal, used to dunk
cookies or enjoyed by itself, Canadians love milk. According to a 2006
Statistics Canada study, Canadians on average consume 58.7 litres of milk a
year and as a nation, we rank 10th globally in milk consumption per capita(1).
To celebrate World School Milk Day on September 24, Tetra Pak invites parents
to extend the love of the creamy classic into school lunchboxes.
    "In the past, many parents were afraid to include milk cartons in their
child's school lunch for fear that it would sour due to lack of
refrigeration," explains Tetra Pak Marketing Manager Tevfik Djamgouz. "But
thanks to ambient packaging and processing technologies, shelf-stable milk
tastes as good as chilled milk with the exact same nutrition level and is a
great way to include calcium in a child's school lunch."
    Despite being the norm in Europe, shelf-stable milk - packaged milk that
can be stored at room temperature without the need of refrigeration or
preservatives - has only recently grown in popularity in North America.
    Shelf-stable milk uses a process called ultra-high temperature (UHT) to
sterilize the milk before packaging. Through the UHT process, liquid food
products, such as milk, are exposed to brief but intense heating temperatures
in the range of 135 to 140 degrees Celsius versus regular pasteurization,
which is heated at just over 70 degrees Celsius. After the intense heat, the
milk is passed through a cooling stage in quick succession in a closed system
to prevent the milk from being contaminated. Aseptic packaging assures the
milk is free of bacteria and the air-tight seal eliminates air and light
exposure, which would cause the milk to turn sour.
    The end result is delicious milk that provides the same nutritional
benefits as regular milk. Best of all, shelf-stable milk can be conserved for
six months without the need of refrigeration or chemical preservatives -
allowing milk lovers to get their calcium fix just about anywhere. Once
opened, shelf-stable milk acts like regular chilled milk and must be
refrigerated. It can also be refrigerated prior to opening to give each glass
that cold, fresh taste.
    "We are seeing more of our dairy customers offer Canadian consumers
shelf-stable milk products in different varieties such as low fat and
chocolate milk," explains Djamgouz. "For children who prefer to drink their
milk cold, parents can simply freeze their milk in Tetra Pak cartons or pack
it with a frozen Tetra Pak carton of juice to help cool the contents of the
lunch bag."
    Shelf-stable milk has also played a big role in giving kids in a number
of markets around the world access to milk that they would not normally have
had. For example, since 2000 Tetra Pak has been involved in global school food
programs that provide shelf-stable milk to more than 43 million children
worldwide - including developing nations. Studies have shown that children who
receive milk in school programs demonstrate improved learning abilities. In
Pakistan, primary school enrollment grew by 52 per cent during the first two
years of the school milk program that Tetra Pak, together with the government
and dairy industry, is helping to support.

    (1) University of Guelph

For further information:

For further information: Diane Medeiros, APEX Public Relations, Tel:
(416) 924-4442 ext. 234, E-mail: dmedeiros@apexpr.com

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