Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes
This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.
Shelley Osterloh reportingThe product is Utah milk. But it is the unique processing that has made it a favorite with the U.S. military around the world.
It's milk in all sort of flavors, and it doesn't need to be refrigerated.
From more than 225 diary farms in Northern Utah and Southern Idaho, Gossner Dairy sends 17 million cartons of milk each year to the US military serving in Iraq, Korea, Japan, just about anywhere in the world.
Dolores Wheeler/ Pres., CEO Gossner Foods: "YOU KNOW, AT LEAST WE KNOW THEY ARE GETTING SOMETHING WHOLESOME THAT THEY ARE GOING TO ENJOY."
Dolores Wheeler's father, Ed, started Gossner Foods.
Dolores Wheeler, Pres. CEO Gossner Foods: "MY DAD BROUGHT THE ART OF MAKING SWISS CHEESE INTO THIS VALLEY."
An immigrant dairy farmer from Switzerland, he was also a visionary, who introduced a new process for milk in the early 80's that kept milk from spoiling. The idea is simple, the machinery and process complicated, and hidden by miles of stainless steel tubing and vats.
The milk is heated to 282 degrees, and held for six seconds. That kills the bacteria that causes milk to spoil. Then it's cooled and flavors added. This machine takes cardboard paper, forms it into a box, adds a foil opening, sterilizes it and adds the contents --- all without letting in any air or bacteria.
The end result: milk in many flavors that doesn't have to be refrigerated and has a shelf life of at least nine months. The same process is used for many products, like soups and fruit drinks. But it's the milk that the U.S. military buys. Right now --- five semis a week are filled and transported to U.S. bases across the country, and around the world.
The Logan, Utah, plant employees about 350 people and many of them say, they are proud to help in a time of need.
Kelly Luthi/ Gen. Mgr., Gossner Milk Plant: "SO IT GIVES A GREAT SENSE OF PRIDE THAT WE ARE HELPING IN JUST OUR OWN LITTLE WAY IN SUPPORTING THE TROOPS IN WHAT THEY ARE DOING."
And it is likely to be part of the humanitarian aid to the Iraqi people.
The milk has no preservatives whatsoever. But once it's opened, it has to be refrigerated.