Louis Pasteur: He Put the Heat On the Germs

 

Born today was Louis Pasteur;

For rabies and anthrax he discovered  a cure.

In microbiology his fame never dies.

His shelf-life endures in the word 'pasteurize'.

"Emperor Napoleon III  enlisted Pasteur to save France's wine industry from the "diseases of wine". In previous experiments, Pasteur had discovered that heating the fermented wine would kill the microbes that caused it to spoil. He wasn't the first to see that connection. Nicolas Appert, the inventor of in-container sterilization, also known as canning, had already shown that treating food with heat could preserve it. Pasteur's contribution was to determine the exact time and temperature that would kill the harmful microorganisms in the wine without changing its taste. He patented the process and called it pasteurization. Before long, the process was also used for beer and vinegar." [howstuffworks.com]

"Then, in the span of a few years, Louis Pasteur not only made the correlation but proved by experiment that these germs do not arise  de novo by a process of spontaneous generation as so many had believed; instead they are present because they have reproduced themselves from the original organisms that intruded into the material being studied. And he demonstrated that a liquid rendered germfree by boiling would stay unputrefied so long as no new germs were allowed to enter the flask in which it was kept." [Sherwin B. Nuland in "Doctors: The Biography of Medicine"]

 

 

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  • You would have thought that the alcohol in wine and beer would have killed the germs. Apparently there wasn't enough of it. One doesn't hear about vodka going bad.

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