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In Estonia, the product bought from the shop lasts about 2-3 days, in Finland 3-5 days and In Oslo Norway 7 days.

The better infrastructure of transportation explains some for Finland and Norway. But how on earth so big difference between Norway and Finland?

I heard today that some countries are fluoridating milk. Ii is not in Finland and Norway. However, it may be the case that some minerals are existing naturally more in Norway than in Finland. Also, more rain dissolves more minerals in Norway than in Finland.

How can pasteurized milk last 7 days?

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Is it not more likely to be a difference in food safety regulations/company policy than a biological difference? –  Rory M Jun 25 '13 at 11:05
    
In the UK pasteurized milk lasts around 7 days. I'd assume 7 days was pretty typical. –  Nick Jun 25 '13 at 13:37
    
I'd go with @RoryM there but I can't find any regulations on-line to suggest so - can't think of any other reason... perhaps processing techniques, have you looked at different brands within nations which might have different processing techniques? –  GriffinEvo Jun 25 '13 at 14:49
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2 Answers 2

I would rather think about regulatory differences instead of biological ones. (Edit, as also Rory M highlighted in a comment)

Extended shelf life can be obtained through microbial ultrafiltration. However in Europe, ultrafiltration labelling is not mandatory, so it is difficult to distinguish if a milk product was simply pasteurized or also ultrafiltrated. The converse case, biologically speaking, two milk products could be generally the same but one country could be more stricter than the other on shelf-life legislation. (The shelf-life relates more to the unsuitability for sale rather than for consumption).

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Evidently the shelf-life of pasteurised milk is very dependent upon post-pasteurisation temperature of storage. Here is a paper in which the effect of temperature on shelf-life has been analysed. A sentence from the abstract says:

The microbiological stability for pasteurized milk packaged in HDPE bottle and stored at 2, 4, 9, 14, and 16 degrees C was estimated at 43, 36, 8, 5, and 3 d, respectively.

I think that you would need to know exactly how the milk had been handled from pasteurisation plant to retail outlet before you could make any valid comparisons. Any period out of cold storage could clearly have a big impact.

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