April 18, 2013
pasteurize (verb)
\PASS-chuh-ryze\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
: to expose to the process of heating a liquid (as milk) to a temperature high enough and keeping it at that temperature long enough to kill many objectionable germs and then cooling it rapidly without causing a major change in its chemical composition
How do you use it?
Dairy products are pasteurized to kill microorganisms, which were determined by French chemist Louis Pasteur in the 1850s to be the cause of spoilage.
Are you a word wiz?

Which one of these words do you think entered the English language at about the same time as "pasteurize"?

Answer A is the cream of the crop. The early 1880s were fertile years for scientific terms. "Microbe," which is another word for "germ," showed up then, along with "pasteurize," the name of a process designed to kill germs. "Bacteria," the plural form of "bacterium," which is the word for a disease-causing microorganism, also appeared at the same time, as did "biochemistry," which deals with chemical compounds and processes occurring in living things. Another entry from the early 1880s was "enzyme," referring to various proteins that speed up reactions such as digestion.
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