Table Butter and Cooking Butter

Table Butter and Cooking Butter


Butter is a dairy product made by churning fresh or fermented cream or milk. Conversion of milk fat into butter is a very old way of preserving milk fat. Butter accounts for a major portion of the nutritive value of milk. Butter is generally used as a spread and a condiment, as well as in cooking applications, such as baking, Sauce making and pan frying.

Butter consists of butterfat, water and milk proteins. Most frequently made from cow milk, butter can also be manufactured from the milk of other mammals including sheep, goats, buffalo, camels, and yaks. The most dominant source for production of butter today is bovine milk.

Throughout the centuries, butter was manufactured at farms in small quantities with considerable variation in quality. In the nineteenth century, industrial production of the butter started through centralization and mechanization, which resulted in substantial improvement in the quality of butter.

The largest butter-producing countries are the United States, Germany, France, New Zealand and Russia.

Butter is the fatty portion of milk when separated and churned makes a semisolid product yellowish or white in color.

Butter has 2 types: cooking butter and table or pasteurized butter.

Cooking butter is manufactured from sour cream.

Butter consists of butterfat, water and milk proteins. Most frequently made from cow milk, butter can also be manufactured from the milk of other mammals including sheep, goats, buffalo, camels, and yaks. The most dominant source for production of butter today is bovine milk.

According to the Codex Alimentary Commission under the joint FAO/WHO Food Standards Programme, butter is a fatty product derived exclusively from milk. A 100 g portion of butter must contain a minimum of 80 g fat and a maximum of 16 g water and nonfat milk solids.

According to the USDA, one tablespoon of butter 14 g produces 420 kJ (100 kcal), all from fat, 11 g of which 7 g are saturated fats and 30 mg (0.46 g) are

Cholesterol. In other words, butter consists mostly of saturated fat and is a significant source of dietary cholesterol.

For these reasons, butter has been generally considered to be a contributor to health problems, especially heart disease. For many years vegetable margarine was recommended as a substitute, because it is higher in unsaturated fat and contains little or no cholesterol.

In recent decades it has become accepted that the trans fatty acids contained in partially hydrogenated oils used in typical margarines significantly raise undesirable low-density-lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels as well. Trans-fat free margarines have since been developed. Proponents of the consumption of organic butter, such as the nutritionist Mary Enig, state that because butter is nutritious and is rich in short and medium chain fatty acids this can have a positive effect on health and prevent disease. Butter contains only traces of lactose, so moderate consumption of butter is not a problem for lactose intolerant people. People with milk allergies need to avoid butter, which contains enough of the allergy-causing proteins to cause reactions. Butter can play a useful role in dieting by providing satiety.

A small amount added to low fat foods such as vegetables may stave off feelings of hunger.

Historical Background

The art of butter making has a long history. In India, ghee has been a symbol of purity and an offering to the Gods – especially Agni, the Hindu God of fire – for more than 3000 years. References to ghee’s sacred nature appear numerous times in the Rig Veda, circa 1500–1200 BCE. The tale of the Lord Krishna during his childhood stealing butter remains a popular children’s story in India today. Since India’s prehistory, ghee made from butter has been both a staple food and used for ceremonial purposes such as fueling holy lamps and during funeral prayer.

Manufacture of creamery butter has been confined to the colder regions of the world, where gravity creaming has been successful. References to butter are found in the Old Testament.

In the past, butter was an article of commerce and a sign of wealth. Up to the middle of the nineteenth century, factory butter making was unknown. Most of the butter was made on the farm from cream obtained by gravity creaming. The cream was decanted into a wooden churn and subjected to shear and mild aeration with the help of a stirrer or by rotating the vessel.

Once the fat formed clumps, butter milk was removed and the fatty mass gathered and excess moisture removed. This process hardly met modern hygiene standards. In most cases, cream gets soured before converted into butter. The wooden churns were extremely difficult to keep clean. Lack of refrigeration would lead to swift growth and proliferation of putrefactive organisms. Addition of common salt to the butter grains prior to working was the only preservation methods available in those days. The presence of significant quantities of lactic acid from the sour cream would have contributed to the subsequent preservation of the butter. Butter has also been stored in containers immersed in peat swamps, taking advantage of the lower temperature and virtually anaerobic conditions.

An ancient method of butter making, still used today in parts of Africa and the Near East, involves a goat skin half filled with milk, and inflated with air before being sealed. The skin is then hung with ropes on a tripod of sticks, and rocked until the movement leads to the formation of butter. The late nineteenth century witnessed the inventions of mechanical cream separators and mechanical refrigeration. The advantages of heat treatment to improve the keeping quality of dairy products were soon realized. This led to the establishment of creameries, where milk was separated, and the availability of larger quantities of cream led to the mechanization of butter making. Initially, the churns were of wooden construction, essentially a scale-up of the barrels used for hand production, but then were slowly replaced by aluminum and then stainless steel until the technology was overtaken in the second half of the twentieth century by the development of continuous butter making processes. By the beginning of the twenty-first century, batch churning had been replaced in dairies by continuous churning processes.

Manufacturing of Butter

  • There are two completely different methods for manufacturing butter

churning method.

emulsification method.


  • The Churning Method
  • In this method, crystallization of the fat takes place in cream, followed by phase inversion where the oil-in-water emulsion of  the cream is turned into a water-in-oil emulsion by strong mechanical treatment.
  • The fat content is then concentrated by draining of the buttermilk, and the butter is finally plasticized by mechanical working.

Pretreatment of the cream

  • Prior to churning, it is necessary to concentrate the fat emulsion in milk to a

fat content about 35–42 % or even higher in a separator.

  • The cream is then heated to 85–110 C for 10-30 seconds in order to kill any pathogenic or spoilage microorganisms.
  • It is possible to combine heat treatment with vacuum deodorization.


Cream ripening

  • The lactic acid-producing bacteria
  • Lactococcus lactis subsp. Lactis
  • Lactococcus lactis subsp. cremoris,
  • and aroma-producing strains of
    • Lc. lactis subsp. lactis biovariarit diacetylactis
    • Leuconostoc mesenteroides subsp. cremoris.
    • L. mesenteroides subsp. citrovorum

    An inoculation of 5% of the amount of cream and a culturing temperature of 20̊ C  are commonly used.

    • When the pH value has dropped to 5.2 the cream is cooled to 16 ̊C which slows down the lactic acid-producing bacteria and favors the growth of the aroma bacteria.
    • After some hours, the cream is cooled to the churning temperature.



    • Normally, a churning temperature around 10–12 ̊C is used.
    • The churn is stopped momentarily after a few initial revolutions and the gases released through the vent so that the churn contents under pressure do not splash onto the operator when opening the door for inspection of the progress of the churning process.
    • In most present-day churns, the gases may automatically escape through a special port meant for this purpose.

    The churning process is continued at high speed until the appearance of butter grains and a discontinuous layer of a streaming white fluid  on the sight-glass suggests that oil-in-water emulsion of the cream is turned into a water-in-oil emulsion.

    • is usually reached in about 30–40 minutes.
      • Churning is regarded as optimal when butter-milk shows a milk fat content of not higher than 0.5%




      • When buttermilk has been drained off, the butter grains in the churn may be subjected to washing with water in order to remove much of the residual buttermilk and thereby improve the quality and storage stability of the finished butter.
      • The wash water temperature is 1–2 °C lower than the churning temperature.
      • the churn is rotated through 10–15 revolutions before draining off of the water.
      • It is important to ensure that the water is of a high microbiological quality.



      • if the target is cultured butter manufactured from sweet cream.
      • A mixture of lactic acid concentrate and a starter culture could be added together with the salt after draining of the buttermilk.



      • Salt may be added through either “dry salting” or “wet salting

      • Dry salting, which is most frequently practiced, comprises sprinkling the calculated quantity of coarse salt uniformly over the butter grains in the churnand briefly running the churn usually for about 2–3 minutes, at a low speed followed by draining off of brine.

      In wet salting, the weighed quantity of salt is wetted using a small quantity of potable water and then sprinkled over the butter grains before further working.

      • Salt is normally added at the rate of about 2% in the finished product.



      • Larger butter lumps are subsequently transported to the working section where butter is kneaded to expel more water, to achieve the desired shape and texture and uniform distribution of the saline .
      • It is done at low temperature (14–16 C)
      • Butter worked without vacuum normally contains 7–8% (v/v) air, which often results in a loose and crumbly texture.
      • working under vacuum will reduce the air content to 0.5–1.0% (v/v) or even lower, which creates a more homogeneous texture



      • After passing through the working sections butter is kept in the balance tank for at least one hour to cool down to refrigerated temperature before conveying to the packaging section
      • butter is packaged in a material with good oil barrier properties

      • Cardboard box is a common secondary packaging for bulk butter blocks ( 20 to 50 kg ) with parchment paper as the primary packaging Retail packaging of butter is mostly in flexible films or paper but soft butter may sometimes be packaged in rigid plastics tubs .

      • For packaging of 100 g or 250 g sticks, or 500g bricks parchment paper is

      frequently used as the primary packaging with paper board as the secondary


      • Rigid packaging in the form of plastics tubs is also used for retail butter .


      • The Emulsification Method
      • This method is based on a two-step separation process, where milk in the first separator is concentrated to cream with 30–40 % fat, which again is concentrated to 82 % fat in a second separator.
      • The concentrated cream is then homogenized in order to destroy the fat globule membranes and the mixture of butter oil and butter serum is separated in a third separator. At this stage, the butter oil might be washed with water and treated under vacuum (deodorization) in order to remove unfavorable flavors.
      • The butter oil is then standardized with skim milk to the desired fat content in the final product, and the mixture is emulsified and crystallized .
      • the resulting butter is worked and transferred to packaging.


      )Microbiology of butter(

      • butter is less favorable vehicle for the growth of microorganisms
        • Unsalted sweet cream butter is the most susceptible to microbial contaminants because there is only the fine dispersion of the aqueous phase to inhibit growth.
        • In ripened butters the lactic acid bacteria and reduced pH will inhibit many contaminants including Pseudomonas spp., but will allow yeasts to grow if free moisture is available
        • The butter is carrier for many pathogens.



        • The safety, quality, and shelf life of butter greatly depend

        – the microflora present in pasteurized cream from which it is made

        – quality of water added at the time of salting butter

        – sanitary conditions of process equipment.

        – manufacturing environment.

        – hygienic practices followed during production,

        packaging and storage.

         )Microbial defects(

        • Rancid (lipase). The „„rancid‟‟ off-flavor of butter is unmistakably objectionable. The odor is pungent & is that of volatile short-chain fatty acids.
        • It is the result of hydrolysis of milk fat through the enzymatic action of lipase, which liberates fatty acids. A rancid off-flavor is attributed to the free short-chain fatty acids and the resultant salts of these fatty acids.
        • P. fluorescens and P. fragi are also associated with lipolytic rancidityMalty. The „„malty‟‟ off-flavor that is occasionally  encountered in butter resembles the odor of  malted milk The malty off-flavor results from the  outgrowth of Lactoccoccus lactis spp.

          maltigenes in either milk or cream that has been cooled inadequately.

          • Oxidized/Metallic/Tallowy flavour: It resembles tallow. It is caused by oxidation of fat due to direct exposure to sunlight and contamination with copper or iron. This defect can be prevented by storage of milk, cream and

          butter in opaque containers made of tinned or aluminium alloy, stainless steel, etc.surface taint: Surface growth of P.putrefaciens. surface taint resulting from

          release of free fatty acids, particularly isovalericacid

          • Skunk like odor : may be caused by P.mephitica
          • Mould discolouration: Growth of moulds on the surface of butter produces a range of colours. Proper packaging and storage of butter in rooms at controlled temperature and humidityare the means to control the defect.


          )non microbial defects(

          • Mottled colour: Mottled colour is indicated by the presence of spots of lighter and deeper shades of yellow colour in butter. It is caused by inadequate washing of butter grains, improper incorporation of salt and inadequate working of butter.
          • Streaky colour: Presence of distinct waves of different shades of yellow colour in butter indicates the defect. Streaky colour defect is caused due to un-even and incomplete working of two or more lots of butter. It can be controlled by properly and evenly working the butterGreasy body: Excessive smoothness and  quick melting in the mouth indicate greasy  consistency of butter. This defect is caused by  over-working and high temperature of wash  water. Corrective measures include adequate working and use of wash water at recommended temperature.
            • Sticky. As the term implies, a „„sticky‟‟-bodied butter adheres (sticks) to the trier and appears to be quite dry. the butter is overworked

            Crumbly or Brittle body: Lack of cohesiveness, dryness, rough surface and difficulty in slicing indicate crumbly body defect.

            It is caused by seasonal changes in the composition of fat, sudden chilling or under-working of butter. To overcome this problem adequate working of butter, controlled cooling and ageing of cream, proper churning and washing of butter are the suggested measures

            • Garlic or onion. „„Onion‟‟ or „„garlic‟‟ off-flavors which are objectionable, are occasionally found in butter. Both of these off-flavors can be feed contaminants and are most pronounced when samples are warmed to body temperature.

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