Dairy Establishment Inspection Manual – Chapter 17 - Higher Heat Shorter Time (H.H.S.T.) Processing and Extended Shelf-Life (ESL) Dairy Products

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Higher Heat Shorter Time (H.H.S.T.) treatment of fluid milk and milk products is the application of heat to a continuously flowing product using high temperatures, generally above 100°C, for such time to extend the shelf-life of the product under refrigerated conditions. This type of heat process can be used to produce dairy products with Extended Shelf-life generally referred to as "ESL".

ESL means the ability to extend the shelf-life of a product beyond its traditional life by reducing the major sources of re-infection and maintaining the quality of the product all the way to the consumer (Dairy Processing Handbook, 2003).

ESL products are not considered to be commercially sterile products and, as such, must be cooled immediately after pasteurization to a temperature of 4°C or less and stored continuously under refrigeration at a temperature of 4°C or less.