Cider Pasteurized or UV Treated?
Most New York State cider is either pasteurized or treated with Ultra Violet (UV) light. Both processes are approved by the Food and Drug Administration, (FDA).
The pasteurization process involves heating the freshly pressed cider to 160 degrees for a few seconds. The high temperature kills bacteria that might be there. The cider is then immediately cooled to prevent it from getting a "cooked" taste. This process is the same process used to pasteurize milk. When done properly, pasteurization does not affect the flavor of the cider. Consumer tests have indicated that people cannot tell the difference between the flavor of pasteurized and un-pasteurized cider. Also, the nutritional value does not change. Some people simply prefer to drink fresh cider without any heat treatment or added preservatives.
UV treatment is a non-thermal process that meets FDA guidelines to obtain a 5- log reduction of pertinent pathogens. This is equivalent to 99.999% safe. The UV or Ultra Violet treatment has the cider pass by an ultraviolet light which kills harmful bacteria. This process is called non-thermal because it does not heat up the cider. It is FDA approved and an equally safe alternative to heat pasteurization.
The New York Apple Association recommends drinking only pasteurized or UV reated fresh apple cider. This is to ensure that all consumers both young and old are protected against possible illness. Approximately 95% of the volume of cider currently produced in New York State is either pasteurized or UV treated.
Fresh cider should be treated like milk. Keep it cold in the refrigerator. With age it will turn, so drink it within a few weeks.
For other ways to enjoy cider, try cooking with it. Adding cider to vegetables or roasts can give a distinctive flavor. In recipes, substitute cider for water to add a healthy different flavor to foods. Cider can be reduced or boiled down to make syrup. This will concentrate the sugars and it can be put on pancakes, ice cream and desserts.