The sale of raw milk from vending machines is allowed in several European Countries. Since unpasteurized milk could harbor foodborne pathogens, the boiling treatment is highly recommended before consumption. In this study, the effect of storage temperatures, generally recorded in domestic refrigerators, as well as the effect of domestic boiling and industrial microwaving on the microbiological, and nutritional quality of raw bovine milk from vending machines was evaluated. Results highlighted that some microbial groups increased during the storage at 8°C. Noticeable, Listeria spp., even if initially present in low amounts, reached levels that would be a cause of concerns. Based on these results, the effects of domestic boiling and microwaving on the survival of L. innocua intentionally added was evaluated, as well as the nutritional features of treated milk. Both treatments were able to eliminate L. innocua, but only microwaving preserved the nutritional quality of milk. Practical applications: This study presents the application of microwaving as an alternative treatment to enhance the quality of raw bovine milk. Domestic storage conditions (especially refrigeration temperatures and time) produce a strong decay in the microbiological quality of the product and Listeria levels might become a real concern. In addition, boiling treatment, imposed by law prior to milk consumption, produces a further depletion of the nutritional quality, producing a strong decay in thermolabile compounds. A suitable solution for heat treatment of raw milk from vending machines could be represented by microwaving at 780 W for 1.35 min. This datum could serve for setting a specific program in domestic microwave ovens for sanitization of raw milk in home environments.
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