Module 7. Butter-making process

Lesson 21

21.1 Introduction

Butter colours are required to manufacture uniform quality butter all the year round as the natural components (like carotene) responsible for colour in butter, varies according to many factors like season, breed, stage of lactation, feed among others. Therefore, a calculated amount of colour is added in butter so that it does not have influence of varying natural colouring components present in milk or cream.

21.2 Desirable Properties of Butter Colours

– It should be free from ingredients injurious to health

– It should be free from undesirable odors and flavors

– Strength should be such that only a small quantity is required

– It should have such permanency of emulsion as to prevent settling out upon standing

– It must be oil soluble

21.3 Types of butter colours

Butter colours are classified on the basis of their source as vegetable butter colours and mineral butter colours.

21.3.1 Vegetable butter bolours

This class of butter colours is derived from plants. The most common is the colour obtained and extracted from the seed of the annatto plant (Bixa orellana). The extract of vegetable butter color is made by boiling the annatto seed in oil for several hours. During the latter period of the process the heat is raised to a high temperature, about 115°C for extraction of annatto principle in permanent emulsion with oil. The mixture is then filtered through heavy canvas, either by gravity or under pressure.

21.3.2 Mineral butter colours

The colouring principle of this class of butter colours is derived from harmless oil soluble coal tar dyes. This coal tar dyes are mixed with the neutral oil, boiled and filtered. The coal tar dyes certified by USDA are

• Yellow A B (Benzeneazo- β- naphthlyamine)

• Yellow O B (Ortho- Tolueneazo- β- naphthylamine)

Mineral colors have greater concentration of coloring principle and therefore less of the butter color is needed to produce desirable color in butter than is the case with vegetable colors. The emulsion of mineral butter color in oil is more permanent as compared to vegetable butter colors.

FSSR 2011 has permitted some food colors to be incorporated in butter. These are shown in Table 21.1

Table 21.1 FSSR 2011 permitted colors in butter


21.3.4 Quantity of butter color to be added

The amount of color that must be added varies greatly under diverse conditions and may vary from none to about 250 g for every 100 Kg of butter.

21.3.5 Manner of adding butter color

The butter color should be preferably added to the cream while loading the churn. Alternatively, it may be added to and mixed with salt just before final working of the butter. It is then worked into the butter and distributed uniformly.

21.4 Salting of Butter

Butter manufactured for direct consumption is added with salt to improve keeping quality and flavour. It also increases overrun in butter.

21.4.1. Purpose of salting

1. It enhances flavour and offers consumer satisfaction.

2. It improves the keeping quality by preventing the growth of bacteria, yeast and molds particularly when made from sweet cream. Butter, if made from acid cream, salt accelerate chemical defect.

3. Salt increases over-run.

The finely dispersed moisture droplets in butter give it light creamy colour due to scattering of light. When salt is added, due to osmosis effect, diffusion of water take place towards strong brine solution and thereby bigger moisture droplets are formed which is liable to make the butter leaky hence proper working of salted butter is even more important. In addition, the high salt content has the tendency to precipitate the curd contained in the butter and reduce the water holding capacity of butter. This also favors the water droplets to become large.

Complete working of salted butter is essential to ensure adequate subdivision of the brine and to provide butter with even colour and free form leakiness.

Effect of salt on keeping quality of butter

Salt added to butter influence keeping quality in two ways, namely, bacteriologically and chemically. The salt in butter is present in water portion. Concentration of salt in butter serum has inhibiting effect on microorganisms responsible for deterioration of butter. Thus, it can be said that salting improves bacteriological quality of butter. On the other hand, salting hastens chemical deterioration of butter. This deterioration is most pronounced in the presence of acid. This deterioration is slow but it takes place at any temperature even at low temperatures of commercial cold storage. Thus, it is more apparent in cold storage butter than in short held butter. High salt content causes more intense and more rapid chemical flavor deterioration in storage butter than low salt content.

Effect of salt on moisture distribution and texture of butter

Moisture is present in butter in the form of myriads of small droplets, finely and evenly dispersed throughout the butter granules. This gives butter an opaque appearance and a relatively light creamy color. This butter also contains some loosely held unevenly dispersed moisture droplets. The addition of salt draws the less firmly held water droplets together, forming larger aggregates. In addition, salting out reaction on protein colloidal material further enhances the destabilization of moisture dispersion. This results in precipitation, contraction, dehydration, loss of viscosity and diminished moisture holding ability. The compact waxy texture of butter changes to a coarse, more open and leaky structure.

21.4.2 Quantity of salt to be added

The amount of salt added to butter largely depends on the market requirements. Addition of salt increases overrun in butter. So to avoid addition of excessive salt to butter for economic benefits, standards are laid for maximum limit of salt that can be added. In India, as per FSSR, 2011, maximum permissible limit of salt in butter is 3.0 %.

Salt is added to churn before working. Amount of salt to be added to get desired salt in finished butter can be calculated as per the equation mentioned below.

The amount of salt to be added to butter is calculated by the following equation:

In the above equation, constant 1.25 denotes 80% fat in butter. Therefore, 1.25 x Kg of fat in churn is actually amount of finished butter. Thus the value 1.25 may vary as per the final fat percent desired in finished butter.

21.4.3 Quality of salt to be added

Salt to be used for butter should be of good quality. It should be white, free from foreign insoluble matter and chemically pure. According to BIS specification (IS: 1845: 1961), butter salt should be coarse grained and free from lumps. It should pass through IS: sieve-85(aperture 842 micron). It should have 99.5 to 99.8% sodium chloride and bacterial count should be less than 10/g. Presence of traces of Ca and Mg chloride in salt causes it to moisten and cake. Salt should, therefore, be stored in air tight container and in dry atmosphere away from foreign odours such as kerosene, petrol etc.

21.4.4 Method of adding salt

There are three methods of adding salt to butter namely dry salting, wet salting and brine salting.

a) Dry salting: It is the most common method and is suitable for butter of normal softness. In this method, dry salt is sprinkled evenly over the butter granules before working. If butter is abnormally soft it takes more time to dissolve it and dry salt crystals may get coated with soft fat. Thus, dry salt crystals do not get sufficient moisture to dissolve and make the butter ‘gritty’.

b) Wet salting: In this method, the salt is wetted down before the working begins. First dry salt is distributed over butter granules as is done in dry salting method. It is then followed by pouring enough water to completely wet it. Then the butter is worked. This method assists in rapid solution of salt and avoids presence of undissolved crystals.

c) Brine salting: Here salt is added in the form of saturated solution of brine hence can be used only where ‘lightly’ salted butter is to be made. It requires additional equipment and maintenance hence it is not preferred in commercial butter manufacturing.

Last modified: Friday, 5 October 2012, 9:39 AM