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Here Comes Milk With a Nine-Week Shelf Life

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And the process behind it is surprisingly simple

Guy Montag/Flickr

Few things are worse than pouring one's self a nice bowl of Lucky Charms, only to realize the stupid milk in your fridge is expired. Such snafus could soon be a thing of the past, thanks to researchers who have developed a process that pushes the expiration date of milk way, way back.

According to Gizmodo, the new process developed by Purdue University's Bruce Applegate along with a team from Tennessee University "extends the shelf life of milk up to 63 days." Said process sounds incredibly simple, too: The milk is simply heated by 10 degrees for less than a second, resulting in the elimination of "more than 99 percent of the bacteria left behind after initial pasteurization."

"With the treatment, you’re taking out almost everything," Applegate said in a press release. "Whatever does survive is at such a low level that it takes much longer for it to multiply to a point at which it damages the quality of the milk."

But who really cares about milk with a longer shelf life at this point? Consumption of cow's milk has steadily declined over the past decade as Americans have increasingly developed a taste for alternative milks (soy, almond, rice, cashew, et al). Sales of organic milk continue to rise, however — and for those that only drink the stuff occasionally, perhaps the ability to let it hang out in the fridge three times as long could prove appealing. A longer shelf life could also help reduce food waste, which is also one of the driving factors behind new legislation aiming to standardize "best by" and "use by" dates on packaged foods.

This Milk Lasts Up to Nine Weeks Without a Shelf Life [Gizmodo]

• How Cow's Milk Went From a Basic Beverage to a Dismissed Drink [E]