Pasteurize vs pasteurise

Pasteurize means to heat food to a temperature that will kill harmful microorganisms but not alter the quality of the food, or the taste. Pasteurize is a transitive verb. Pasteurize is the North American spelling, related words are  are pasteurizes, pasteurized, pasteurizing and pasteurization. Pasteurized may also be used as an adjective.

Pasteurise is an accepted British spelling. Related words are pasteurises, pasteurised, pasteurising and pasteurisation. The American spelling of pasteurize is also considered correct and is gaining acceptance around the world.


Pasteurize and pasteurize are examples of a group of words that are spelled with a “z” in American English and an “s” in British English. The word pasteurize appeared in the late nineteenth century, when Louis Pasteur invented the process, the name of the process was coined from the inventor’s last name.


They use Italian hazlenuts, toast their own Texas pecans, pasteurize raw milk purchased from Steubing Dairy Farm in Hondo, and rely on locally grown fruit for the sweetness in flavors such as ricotta and blackberry. (San Antonio Magazine)

Your solution is pasteurized eggs — eggs that have been heat-treated to kill any bacteria without cooking the eggs. (The Columbus Dispatch)

Health Ministry sources said Thursday that they have sent experts to teach farmers and other in the Arab section how to pasteurize dairy products, “but they don’t cooperate and listen, and they even hide the products from us, even though we have made it clear that they are causing themselves to get sick.” (The Jerusalem Post)

We used to pasteurise and bottle our own milk, but the testing requirements were too much for a small-scale operation. (The Irish Farmers Journal)

Last year, Hartley’s Ice Cream in Egremont was making and pasteurising around 450 litres a day – but it is a different picture 12 months on. (The News & Star)


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  1. I suppose in the end it does not significantly matter: the British can certainly read the -ize American construction, and Americans can easily parse the -ise British form. Ought, aught. Nought, naught. Etc.

    But here’s something: -ize simply has no other pronunciation than long IZ. That’s it. Contrarily, there are a lot of -ise words that don’t conform to the ‘z’ pronunciation:

    anisebrisecamisecerisechamisechemiseconcisecotisecrisefrisemortisepremiseprecisepromisesoubisetreatisevalise(out of 1,002 words I reviewed)

    Now, granted, one might argue that 17–18 out of 1,000 is so ever-slightly errant that we can just remember them. But many are among the more common words of at least some parlance. Especially the [anise, chemise, cerise, concise, premise, precise, promise, treatise and yes that borrowed French word, valise].

    No such issues with the -ize bunch. Indeed, I can’t think of a single IZ$ pronunciation that wouldn’t be just as happy as -ize.

    Amusingly, we must remember that on the French side of the French-Italian border, not only do grocery stores not stock ANY pasta, but the restaurants never even get close to serving it. Yet, on the Italian side, pasta is copiously consumed for breakfast, luncheon and dinner.

    See … we try SO hard to be different from our neighbors. Americans, I think, almost uniquely on the planet, just don’t care whether they’re different or not. Hence, why we still use ‘ain’t’. And why this dumb spell-guardian continues to red-underline it.


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