Module 8. Quality of butter

Lesson 25

25.1 Introduction

Butter may be judged from a commercial and from an individual standpoint. It is important that the judge should become familiar with the quality of the butter as required by the standard markets, and then judge the butter according to the demands of the mass of the consumes, rather than according to the personal likes and dislikes. In order to become a good butter judge it is essential that the senses of taste and smell be acute even if one’s taste and smell are keen and sensitive, considerable practice or experience is necessary. Almost anyone can tell good sample of butter from a very poor one, but when it comes to differentiate between two samples, which are nearly alike in quality, skill and experience are required. Most important in scoring butter is to become thoroughly familiar with the ideal flavour of butter; then by repeated comparisons of different samples of butter to this one ideal flavour, one will soon become efficient in grading the butter. Various scorecards are formulated for sensory evaluation of butter wherein maximum scores are allotted for various sensory attributes of butter as shown in Table 25.1.


Table 25.1 Score card for butter

25.1.1 Desirable attributes of butter

—Package: should be attractive, neat, clean & tidy in appearance and have good “finish” (smooth, attractive surface). All packages should be fastened firmly & neatly.

—Salt: it must be uniformly distributed & properly dissolved. If undissolved salt is present, gritty effect is usually noticed in butter.

—Colour & appearance: a uniform light, pale yellow colour is liked most by the consumers.

—Body & texture: the body of butter should be firm & exhibit a distinct waxy, close-knit texture. When broken, the appearance of good quality butter should present somewhat jagged, irregular, wrought-iron like surface. Butter should have smooth “spreadability”.

Flavour: It should have a mild, sweet, clean & pleasant flavour & delicate aroma. A characteristic feature of high-quality butter is that instigate appetite to crave more of the product.

25.2 Manner of Judging

(i) Body: After the trierful of butter has been drawn out, the first thing to notice is the aroma, and the body or texture of the butter. The butter on the outside should be examined at once before it is affected by the temperature of the room. Notice its colour, whether it is even or uneven, low or high. Determine to the appearance of the butter whether it is greasy, fallow, spongy or sticky. Whether salty or salted uniformly. Squeeze the butter with the thumb to ascertain the character of the body. The aroma of the butter should also be noticed in connection with scoring the butter on body and texture, as it is more pronounced immediately after the trierful of butter has been drawn.

(ii) Flavour: It is impossible to describe flavours found in butter. However, there are a few flavours which stand out more prominent and are more commonly met with than any of the others. Good butter should possess a clean, mild, rich, creamy flavour, and should have delicate milk, pleasant aroma.

Flat flavour is noticeable in butter made from unripened cream. Such butter is otherwise clean, little objection is made to this kind of butter for ordinary commercial purposes. The remedy is to ripen the cream a little higher with a proper ferment.

Rancid flavour is applied to butter which has an undesirable strong flavour. Rancid flavour is the most common defect developing in butter on standing other flavours developing in butter are, fishy stable flavour. Cheesy flavour is another characteristic which is very common in butter. This condition develops chiefly in butter containing little or no salt. It is claimed that it is due to the decomposition of the curd matter in the butter.

Weedy flavor is quite common in butter. They are due to moisty to the condition of milk previous to the manufacture of the butter. The remedy is to take the cows away from the pasture in which weeks of the different kinds are growing, such as gartic, milk onion etc.

Acid flavour is another common defect found in butter. It is usually due to the improper ripening.

(iii) Colour: Colour of butter should be bright and even. The color preferred in Indian markets is chiefly a high straw colour.

(iv) Salt: The amount of salt likewise depends upon the market and unless the salt content is extremely high or extremely low, butter should not be criticized on account of the amount of salt.

The chief thing to consider in judging butter on its salt content is the condition of the salt. Notice whether it has been thoroughly dissolved and evenly distributed.

(v) Style: Style is the appearance of the butter and package whatever the shape of the package, the chief thing to consider is that it is clean and neatly finished.

25.3 Grading of Butter

BIS has given an evaluation card of butter, which is shown in fig 25.1. The score obtained after sensory evaluation of butter as per the card suggested by BIS, is used to grade butter. As per BIS, grading of butter is as follows:









90 or above













59 and below


Fig. 25.1 Evaluation card for Butter

Uses of Butter: Butter can be used for direct consumption (table butter), in the preparation of sauces, as a cooking medium, in the baking and confectionery industries and in the manufacture of ice cream. Butter is also used in the manufacture of butter oil and ghee and in the production of recombined milk.

Last modified: Monday, 5 November 2012, 9:08 AM