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In 1857, a French chemist named Louis Pasteur was asked to solve the problem of why wine and beer sometimes spoiled. Pasteur made the connection between bacteria turning the alcohol in those beverages into vinegar. He did not invent the process of pasteurization, but popularized it, and it bears his name today. Pasteurization is a process that heats food, wine, beer, and milk to temperatures hot enough to kill the bacteria, then rapidly cooled to preserve the food substance. This process is widely used today in the food industry to minimize spoilage of food by bacteria and promote the health and welfare of the general public. Pasteurs findings dispelled the widely held opinion at the time that spoilage occured because of some kind of mysterious spontaneous appearance.
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