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Under EU rules the butter and light butter products hitherto approved in Switzerland will in future be supplemented by three-quarter fat butter, half-fat butter and dairy spreads.
Pure butter products and dairy spread products are made from sweet cream. Different types of butter also contain fat originating from whey cream, e.g. "Die Butter", cooking butter, whey butter and butter products with fanciful trade names. Various traditionally made products may in addition contain live lactic acid bacteria and/or probiotic bacteria.
Milk fat is eminently suitable for the manufacture of speciality products on account of its many different fatty acids.
As the triglycerides in milk fat have melting points which vary dramatically, they are easily separated by crystallisation processes. Here the melted water-free fat acts as a "solvent". Butter fractions with more or less specific properties are obtained, depending on the crystallisation temperature and stage (in practice crystallisation processes are frequently carried out in three stages). The filtered crystal phase is called the stearin fraction, the liquid phase the olein fraction.
As a rule butter fractions are employed as intermediate products in food production.
Butter fractions can be used to produce tailor-made fats with outstanding baking properties for use as "bakery butter".
The creamed cooking butter shown in Table 1 is a first example of an end product.
The samples used for testing may be packs from the retail trade or samples taken using a butter grader. Samples should normally be stored at 2-5°C.
Preparation of samples for analytical testing
Samples should be carefully homogenised at room temperature prior to weighing. This may be done manually with a glass rod or mechanically using a powered blender.
Speciality products or products of reduced fat content often have to be analysed using specifically adapted methods. Due to its high protein content, for example, the fat content of light butter is determined by the extraction method for cream.
In spite of intensive sample homogenisation, trace elements are not always distributed uniformly. This applies particularly to copper, so major deviations between repeat determinations are frequently found in this element.
Characterisation of the physical properties of butter products
Butter products are classified not only by fat content stage and cream quality, but also by physical criteria.
The physical properties are characterised as shown in the table below (Table 4).
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