The Butter or Butter is the emulsion of water in fat, obtained as a result of the whey, washing and kneading of the conglomerates of fatty globules, which are formed by the whipping of the milk cream and is suitable for consumption, with or without biological maturation produced by specific bacteria. Butter has a density of 911 (kg / m3). It is a very fatty food, rich in saturated fat, cholesterol and calories, so it is recommended for athletes or people who require significant energy consumption. In addition, it is not a food that is at odds, except for special health conditions, with a healthy and balanced diet and is very easy to digest despite its fat content.

While the name lard is mainly used in Argentina , Paraguay , Uruguay and parts of Spain , in most Spanish-speaking countries it can have a different meaning and usually refers to the white fat of pork .

Not to be confused with vegetable shortening, which is nothing more than solidified vegetable oil after being subjected to a hydrogenation process. It is used for the production of margarine and can be harmful if it contains a large proportion of trans fatty acids.


[ hide ]

  • 1 Production
  • 2 types
  • 3 Elaboration
  • 4 Preparation Ghee Butter
  • 5 History
  • 6 Butter in the World
  • 7 Storage
  • 8 Sources


Non-homogenized milk and cream contain butter fats in the form of microscopic globules. These globules are surrounded by membranes formed by phospholipids (fatty acids that make emulsifiers) and proteins, which prevent milk fat from clumping into a uniform mass. Butter is produced by stirring the cream of the milk, which causes damage to the membranes and allows the milk fats to gather into a single mass, and at the same time separate from other parts.

There are different variations in the elaboration and this means that there are not only different flavors but also there may be different consistencies of the butter dough, however most of the final product is made up of butter fats. Butter contains three types of fat: free fat, crystallized fat, and undamaged fat globules. In final product there is a proportion of these three types of fats and this is the reason for the difference in consistency in the various varieties of butter; butters with crystallized fats are usually harder (more difficult to spread) than those with free fats.

The process of removing the cream from the milk produces small ‘lumps’ floating in the liquid solution of the cream . This solution is called Buttermilk—, this whey is nowadays consumed in some countries as a dairy product. The buttermilk is removed from the process and the resulting lumps are “working”, pressing and stirring so that they form a single solid mass. When preparing by hand, wooden levers called scotch hands are used. This operation gives the butter consistency and gradually dislodges the small globules of water that are retained inside the lumps.

Commercial butter has a fat content of about 80% butter fat and a balance of 15% water; artisan butter has a different proportion, reaching 65% fat and 30% water. Fats consist of many fats coagulated into globules of moderate size. They consist of triglycerides, an ester derived from glycerol, and three groups of fatty acids. Butter begins to go rancid when the chains are broken into small components, such as butyric acid and diacetyl. Butter density is 0.911 g / cm³, approximately the same as ice.


There are several types of butter, but basically two can be distinguished:

  • Acid butter: before the acidification of the cream
  • Sweet butter: after the acidification of the cream (this is the traditional one).

In addition you can add salt or not, obtaining salted or normal butter as appropriate. And, of course, it can be made from the milk of many animals, the most common in the West being sheep, cow or goat butter (as a curiosity, it is not possible to obtain butter from camel milk).


Making homemade butter is not difficult. You just have to beat the cream with a spoon or with a wooden spatula from top to bottom until it is assembled and then continue whisking. With a mixer it is even easier and faster. The final appearance is usually given with a butter mold that gives a more attractive look to consumers.

Ghee Butter Making

Ingredients ½ kilo of premium butter

In a tall container made of a different aluminum material, place the butter. Put it on low or minimum heat with heat diffuser. Leave it until it melts completely until the bubbles that form are broken. With a strainer, remove the foam that forms on the surface. After this, we must transfer the preparation to another container. The important thing is to do it slowly and very carefully, to leave the particles in the bottom of the pot, which are formed in the cooking process. Once cooled, store in a glass jar with a lid.


It is quite possible that an accidental stirring of the milk cream gave rise to the butter; It is for this reason that butter was used and made in the first attempts at dairy processing, perhaps in the Mesopotamia area between 9000 and 8000 BC. n. and. The first butter could have been made from sheep’s or goat’s milk; the cattle were domesticated at that time. A very old method of making butter is used today in parts of Africa and the Middle East.

Butter was highly appreciated by the Vikings and Celts (Northern Europe), which is why the Romans and Greeks considered it a barbaric product and did not include it in their diet, perhaps due to its short shelf life left by the climate Mediterranean at these latitudes (unlike cheese).

In the Rig-veda (the oldest text in India, from the middle of the 2nd millennium BC. ) A type of fried butter – or “clarified butter” – is mentioned as ghi . Today, Hinduists consider it a sacred product to offer the gods as food, especially Agni (the Hindu god of fire). In Ayurvedic medicine , ghi butter is considered a food that helps promote the health of the body.

Anaxandrides , a Greek comic poet (from Rhodes ) from the 4th century BC. n. e, refers to the Thracians as boutyrophagoi: ‘butyrophages’ (butter eaters). [one]

Pliny , in his book Natural History , calls butter “the most delicate food among the barbarian nations,” and describes its medicinal properties.

Butter elaborations in Europe from medieval times were made in France (Normandy and Brittany), Holland and Ireland, most of the production is artisanal. Butter was considered in those days and those countries an expensive product; for this reason it was available only to the wealthiest classes or those who marketed it. In southern Europe, however, it was preferred olive oil or butter pork. Only the countries of the Muslim or Jewish religions, in the Mediterranean, came to use cow fat as a substitute for pork, for example, and only in some sweet preparations in the Middle Ages. In countries such as Portugal, Italy and southern and eastern Spain, the consumption of pork fat has been decreasing, but it has been directly replaced by olive oil and not by butter.

In the year 1870 the appearance of margarine , the invention of the French chemist Hippolyte Mège-Mouriés, made it possible to distribute a butter substitute to populations at a lower cost. Per capita consumption of butter has declined in most Western nations during the 20th century, in part because of the popularity of margarine, which is less expensive and is perceived by the population as healthier. In the United States, the consumption of margarine during the 1950s is greater than that of butter and today it is the case, in other nations the situation is similar. Even in countries like Venezuela and Colombia, the name butter refers to margarine.

In the Mediterranean arc, olive oil is still generally preferred today, an idea reinforced by its heart-healthy and nutritional qualities compared to butter.

Butter in the World

Indian butter

India produces and consumes more butter than any other nation in the world, dedicates almost half of its milk production to the production of its butter called ghee. In 1997 India produced 1,470,000 metric tons of butter, consuming most of its own production. In second place was the United States (522,000 tons), followed by France (466,000), Germany (442,000), and New Zealand (307,000). In terms of consumption, Germany is second to India, using 578,000 tons of butter in 1997, followed by France (528,000), Russia (514,000), and the United States (505,000). Most nations produce and consume what their local industry generates.New Zealand , Australia , and Ukraine are among the nations that export a significant percentage of butter.

There are different varieties of butter throughout the world. The Smen is a clarified butter from Morocco, which can be offered after spending healing processes of months or even years. Yak’s milk butters are very important in Tibet (they are used in a salty butter tea highly prized in the Himalayas, Bhutan, Nepal and India); tsampa that uses barley flour mixed with Yak’s milk butter is considered a staple food. In Africa and Asia Gastronomy butter is traditionally made with sour milk instead of cream.


Butter can generally be spread on bread or toast at a temperature of 15 ° C, above the refrigerator operating temperature. The so-called “butter compartment” that can be found in many refrigerators is one of the least cold areas, but still far from the temperature so that the butter spreads easily once it is put on the table.

Butter to be stored must take into account the following:

  • Butter is a food that due to its physical and chemical characteristics has great resistance to bacterial contamination. For this reason it is possible to keep the butter at room temperature for days without being attacked by bacteria, however the flavor is affected in some way because the fats in the butter react causing rancid flavors.
  • Butter is capable of absorbing strong odors from its surroundings, which is why it is usually advisable to store butter in the refrigerator in watertight containers and as far away from light as possible.
  • Store the butter in its initial container or wrapper, do not use aluminum foil as a wrapper, the direct contact of the butter fats with the metal causes their immediate oxidation, particularly in salted butters.
  • Butter areas exposed to lightand air usually have a more yellowish or even translucent area, these areas should be avoided since their flavor is rancid. In these cases it is enough to remove these areas, the rest of the butter is edible.


Leave a Comment