A Novel Heating Process Keeps Milk Fresh for Up to 9 Weeks

Do you toss out milk on its sell-by date even though it would be good for an additional five to seven days? Do you take a deep sniff of the container’s opening before pouring, just in case it decided to spoil early? If so, researchers at Purdue University may have a solution.

According to a study published in SpringerPlus, a simple addition to the standard pasteurization process—which heats milk to kill bacteria before packaging—can eliminate even more contaminants. Using a method called low-temperature, short-time (LTST) processing, milk batches are treated normally and then heated to just 10°C for less than a second. That kills 99 percent of the residual germs left behind after the first round of pathogen-killing has occurred. With fewer bacteria, the milk can remain fresh for longer periods of time—up to five to seven weeks past the standard expiration date.

Because it uses low heat, this technique is different from the existing method for creating milk with a long shelf life: ultra-high temperature (UHT) processing, in which milk is heated to 138°C for 2–4 seconds. Another difference? Unlike UHT [PDF], this method doesn't appear to alter the taste.

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This does not mean, however, that you can unseal a container of milk and then expect to enjoy it for months at a stretch. For one thing, a gallon wouldn’t last that long. More importantly, the freshness is dependent on a closed container. Once it’s exposed to air, Purdue’s patented process will still result in the same milk, which has about a week before it goes bad.

Researchers might test the LTST process to see if it might be able to replace—not just support—standard pasteurization. There’s no word on when the technique might be adopted by manufacturers, but since the study was funded in part by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, it probably won’t be long before anti-aging milk starts appearing on shelves.

[h/t Gizmodo]

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Bibo Barmaid
Bibo Barmaid Is Like a Keurig for Cocktails—and You Can Buy It Now
Bibo Barmaid
Bibo Barmaid

To make great-tasting cocktails at home, you could take a bartending class, or you could just buy a fancy gadget that does all the work for you. Imbibers interested in the hands-off approach should check out Bibo Barmaid, a cocktail maker that works like a Keurig machine for booze.

According to Supercall, all you need to turn the Bibo Barmaid system into your personal mixologist is a pouch of liquor and a pouch of cocktail flavoring. Bibo's liquor options include vodka, whiskey, rum, and agave spirit (think tequila), which can be paired with flavors like cucumber melon, rum punch, appletini, margarita, tangerine paloma, and mai tai.

After choosing your liquor and flavor packets, insert them into the machine, press the button, and watch as it dilutes the mixture and pours a perfect single portion of your favorite drink into your glass—no muddlers or bar spoons required.

Making cocktails at home usually means investing in a lot of equipment and ingredients, which isn't always worth it if you're preparing a drink for just yourself or you and a friend. With Bibo, whipping up a cocktail isn't much harder than pouring yourself a glass of wine.

Bibo Barmaid is now available on Amazon for $240, and cocktail mixes are available on Bibo's website starting at $35 for 18 pouches. The company is working on rolling out its liquor pouches in liquor stores and other alcohol retailers across the U.S.

[h/t Supercall]

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An Eco-Friendly Startup Is Converting Banana Peels Into Fabric for Clothes
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A new startup has found a unique way to tackle pollution while simultaneously supporting sustainable fashion. Circular Systems, a “clean-tech new materials company,” is transforming banana byproducts, pineapple leaves, sugarcane bark, and flax and hemp stalk into natural fabrics, according to Fast Company.

These five crops alone meet more than twice the global demand for fibers, and the conversion process provides farmers with an additional revenue stream, according to the company’s website. Fashion brands like H&M and Levi’s are already in talks with Circular Systems to incorporate some of these sustainable fibers into their clothes.

Additionally, Circular Systems recycles used clothing to make new fibers, and another technology called Orbital spins those textile scraps and crop byproducts together to create a durable type of yarn.

People eat about 100 billion bananas per year globally, resulting in 270 million tons of discarded peels. (Americans alone consume 3.2 billion pounds of bananas annually.) Although peels are biodegradable, they emit methane—a greenhouse gas—during decomposition. Crop burning, on the other hand, is even worse because it causes significant air pollution.

As Fast Company points out, using leaves and bark to create clothing may seem pretty groundbreaking, but 97 percent of the fibers used in clothes in 1960 were natural. Today, that figure is only 35 percent.

However, Circular Systems has joined a growing number of fashion brands and textile companies that are seeking out sustainable alternatives. Gucci has started incorporating a biodegradable material into some of its sunglasses, Bolt Threads invented a material made from mushroom filaments, and pineapple “leather” has been around for a couple of years now.

[h/t Fast Company]

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