Module 11. Ghee and butteroil

Lesson 37


37.1 Introduction

Ghee has a long keeping quality; it can be stored for 6 to 12 months under ambient temperature provided proper packaging and filling. Ghee should be filled upto the brim in a rust free tin cans/container for bulk packing. Regular pack sizes available in the market are 15 lit, 5 lit, 1 lit and 500 ml. Self standing laminates are used for 14 lit and 500 ml packs which have barrier to moisture, air and light. Exposure of ghee to sunlight for a long time also causes oxidation and produce off flavors in the ghee.

37.2 Packaging of Ghee

Exposure of ghee to light, air, water vapour and metals causes deterioration of ghee as shown below

So, packaging material should prevent the entry of light, air, water vapour and contact with metals. Minimum or no head space should be provided while filling, better to fill the product upto the brim of the container.

Glass bottles Food grade plastic containers such as high density polyethylene pouches, laminates with metallic layer support (aluminum) and tin cans are in use for packaging of ghee.

37.2.1 Tin cans

Lacquer coated tin cans are used for bulk pack of 15 lit & 5 lit can should be sealed properly to prevent the entry of oxygen as it causes oxidation in the product during storage. It is very essential that tin cans be properly lacquered because rusted cans are liable to accelerate the lipid deterioration. Only drawback in tin cans is the cost. Higher cost renders its use and to search for cost competitive packaging material.

Glass bottles

Glass bottles provide excellent protection to the product quality as they do not react with the food material. Glass bottles can be used for high-speed operations, but are not in much use for bulk or large size packaging of ghee because of their fragility and high weight. Since ghee is an expensive commodity and all consumers can not afford to buy large size packs, some of the ghee producers have started packaging ghee in glass bottles for retailers in sizes of 100g to 500g.

Semi-rigid containers

Semi-rigid plastic containers are replacing tin plate containers. These are mainly made from high density polyethylene (HDPE). The advantages of using these containers are lightweight, economical and transport-worthy. These are of several types viz., blow moulded HDPE (high density polyethylene), PET (polyethylene terephthalate) bottles, PVC (poly vinyl chloride) bottles, lines cartons and tetra packs. Blow moulded HDPE are, available in form of bottles (200, 400g), jars (1 kg and 2 kg), and jerry cans (2kg, 5 kg, and 15 kg). PET bottles have excellent clarity odour free and have gas barrier properties. All these semi-rigid containers have good scope for packaging of ghee and butter oil.

Flexible films/pouches/laminates

Flexible pouch may be made from laminates or multi layer films of different composition. The pouch may be in the form of pillow pouch or as self-standing pouches. The most attractive feature of packaging ghee in flexible pouches is that they are cheapest than any other packaging system. The selection of laminate or a multi layer film is governed primarily by the compatibility of the contact layer, heat-sealing ability and heat-seal strength and shelf life required. The indigenously available flexible materials, which have very good values for the above, mentioned properties are HDPE, polypropelene, Aluminium foil, Nylon, PVC, Polyester and numerous laminates of flexible films. Sachets made from a laminate of PVDC/ PVC Al foil/PP (polyvinyliedene chloride/aluminium foil/polypropylene) are suitable or long-term storage of butter oil and ghee.

Desirable characteristics of packaging material for ghee

· Packaging material should not react with ghee

· Easily available at low cost

· It should be non toxic

· It should not allow printing ink to penetrate into the product

· It should protect against tempering

· It should have good barrier properties against spoilage causing agents

· It should withstand wear and tear during transportation

37.3 Storage of Ghee

At higher temperature of storage, development of oxidized flavor especially with ghee which has appreciable initial acidity is more pronounced. At Lower (refrigerated) temperature storage, although it delays acid development there by prolongs shelf life but it imparts greasy and pasty texture to ghee. So, storage temperature of 21°C is recommended. Ghee can be stored up to 12months at 21°C.

37.4 Keeping Quality

It is the duration in which product is acceptable for safe consumption as well no abrupt changes in its aesthetic quality and chemical quality. Ghee is more prown to oxidation induced changes during storage. Several factors influence the keeping quality of ghee and are listed below.

37.5 Factors Influencing Keeping Quality of Ghee

(1) Temperature of storage: Higher the temperature of storage. Lower will be the keeping quality and vice versa.

(2) Initial moisture content: Higher the initial moisture content. The lower the keeping quality and vice versa.

(3) Initial acidity: Higher the initial acidity, lower the keeping quality and vice versa.

(4) Exposure to metals: When ghee comes in contact with metals especially iron and copper, its keeping quality gets reduced. Since these is an act as catalytic agents for oxidation.

(5) Exposure to light: Greater exposure to sunlight causes oxidation of ghee and thus reduces the shelf life.

(6) Method of packaging: Higher the air-content in the head-space the lower will be the keeping quality.

37.6 Preservation of Ghee

First and foremost thing to preserve ghee is to packaging air tight container. Ghee is very much susceptible to oxidation. Reaction of oxygen with unsaturated fat, aggravated by metallic contamination or sunlight, is a major cause for spoilage. Further to extend the shelf life of the product antioxidants can be added. Butylated Hydroxy Anisole (BHA) at concentration of not exceeding 0.02% can be added. In recent time, use of ghee residue to extend the shelf life ghee has been a practice. Phospholipids present in ghee acts as antioxidants and preserve the ghee. It is reported that some curry leaves and betal leaves were also tried to extend the shelf life of ghee.

37.7 Marketing of Ghee

Recent times several multinationals like Britannia & Nestle enter into the business of ghee manufacturing and marketing. India Amul and Sagar ghee is popular brand names marketed by GCMMF. Mother Dairy also have good market share of ghee. Apart from these several national chains one is selling ghee under their own brand names. Local players specific to version also have good market share. Local merchants also sell desi ghee in unorganized sector.

Ghee in India is used for cooking or frying medium, as it enriches the taste of food. Ghee in melted form is used for garnishing vice or spreading lightly on chapattis. Ghee has been a regular export item from India; presently ghee is exported to Nepal, Bangladesh middle-east countries.

Last modified: Tuesday, 25 September 2012, 10:17 AM