BUTTER - there are two varieties of butter, generally, viz.:
(1) Sweet cream butter
(2) Sour cream butter
These cannot readily be distinguished from one another. In countries where the food authorities demand a specification for sweet cream butter to be complied with, shipments of sour cream butter may fail to comply with the regulations and may be either condemned or have permission for import rescinded. Such butter is not necessarily damaged, despite analytical reports of high bacterial count.
When fresh butter in prints or paper wrappers is left out of cold storage for some time, moisture condenses and collects on the outer surface of the paper wrappers in droplets. If these droplets of water are not removed before the packages of butter are put back into cold storage a dark green fungus growth may appear on the paper wrappers at the spots where the water had collected. This fungus gradually penetrates the paper wrappers and into the butter, causing contamination. Mold may occur on butter, causing dark patches on the surface. The mold may spread from wooden containers, and butter boxes are often pre-treated with salicylanilide to check this. Mold fungi can develop as surface growths, blackish spots spreading to brown stains, green surface growths, bright red stains, etc. Nutrient matter encouraging mold growth may sometimes come from the wood of the packing boxes. The wrapping of butter in parchment paper serves to exclude air, but the contact should be close and without wrinkles or the air space may lead to mold growth. The paper wrappers should be free from softeners such as glycerol and the use of gums or gummed paper should be avoided, as these may promote mold growth.
Butter, a dairy product, is a water-in-fat emulsion. It is considered a high grade edible fat and is normally yellow in color.
The history of butter reaches back into antiquity. It is assumed that butter has been made ever since humans started drinking milk. For example, butter was used as a food in ancient Persia and Egypt.
The butter production process may in brief be divided into the following stages:
- separation of the cream from the milk by leaving it to stand or spinning it in a centrifuge,
- pasteurization at above 90 degrees C to reduce the activity of enzymes and microorganisms,
- beating the cooled cream in a butter churn or butter making machine (churning),
- kneading and shaping of the butter,
Chemically speaking, butter consists of the following constituents:
- fats approx. 82%
- water approx. 16%
- nonfat milk components approx. 2%
The main constituents of butter are glycerol and fatty acids.
Butter is transported in either chilled or frozen form. The advantages of transport in frozen form are, firstly, a longer storage life and, secondly, greater stack ability of the product. These advantages are counterbalanced by the greater refrigeration capacity required throughout the transport chain.
In Germany, butter is primarily made from sour cream with added lactic acid bacteria, a practice which considerably accelerates separation of the cream and moreover ensures a better churning result than when butter is made from sweet, fresh cream. Butter is offered for sale in either salted or unsalted form.
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