In the past few years, preservatives have gotten a bad rap. A number of interest groups have raised alarm and consumers fear these materials to be carcinogenic and irritating. Whether or not these negative claims can be substantiated with sound science, the discussion surrounding them rages on, motivating some suppliers and formulators to work toward paraben-free or preservative-free alternatives.
A possible solution to the preservative-free cosmetic formulation conundrum may lie in the milk pasteurization process. Ultra-high-temperature (UHT) sterilization is the process of heating milk or cream to temperatures exceeding 275°F (135°C) for one or two seconds, then packaging it in a hermetically-sealed containers. This type of milk may be stored without refrigeration for 6–12 months, extending its lifespan and possibly reducing the carbon footprint of grocery stores by shrinking chiller capacity.