The denaturation of whey proteins in whole milk during processing by the indirect UHT and vat systems was determined. Whey protein denaturation plateaued at about 88% following a UHT heat treatment of 149°C for 10 s. However, it reached about 88% with a vat heat treatment of 82°C for 5 min and reached 95 to nearly 100% after 10 to 15 min. Vat processing under pasteurizing conditions at 63°C for 30 min resulted in less than 10% denaturation. The yogurts prepared from the vat processed milk had considerably higher structural firmness than those prepared from the UHT milk, as confirmed by the lower value of curd firmness and the higher shear stress of these yogurts. It was also found that the structural or curd firmness of yogurts prepared from UHT milk was highest when the milk was processed for 3.3 s process holding time and was lower when the milk was processed for longer or shorter process holding times. The results suggest that the vat process at 63°C or 82°C brings about a specific change in the whey protein which leads to formation of a firm structure. This change apparently does not occur during the brief UHT treatment.