Saturday, March 27, 2010


Cream is the lighter portion of milk containing all the main constituents of milk, but in which the fat content is high and the solid (non-fat) content is lower.


Cream is commercially separated from milk in a creamery, by means of a mechanical separator. The milk is first heated to between 32-49°C ( 90-120°F) before being run into the separator which operates on centrifugal force, rotating at very high speeds. This forces the milk which is heavier to the outside while the cream, which is lighter remains at the center. The cream and the skimmed milk are drained out through separate outlets. The skimmed milk is then heated to 79.5°C (175°F) to kill off any harmful bacteria before being further processed into dried milk etc. Cream can also undergo other processes such as homogenization to thicken the cream.


There are a variety of creams available in the market each having a different fat content:


Single Cream 18%

Whipping Cream 35%

Double Cream 48%

Double Thick Cream 50%

Sterilized Half Cream 12%

Sterilized Cream 23%

Clotted Cream 55%

Reconstituted cream is made by emulsifying butter with skimmed milk or skimmed milk powder. This is not true cream but a substance, which resembles it in appearance. Imitation or Synthetic cream is made by the emulsification of vegetable fats with dried egg and gelatin and then sugar and flavorings are added. This gets easily contaminated and is liable to cause food poisoning. However, it is frequently used in the food processing and catering business.


1. To serve with hot or cold coffee and chocolate.

2. To serve as an accompaniment (fruit salad).

3. To be used for decorative purposes and for garnishes.

4. To enrich soups and sauces and to obtain smooth textures.

5. As a main ingredient in certain desserts such as ice cream and custards

6. For toppings such as ganache and truffle.


Fresh cream must be treated in the same way as fresh milk as far as storage is concerned. Cream must be covered and stored in sterilized containers in the refrigerator. The ideal storage temperature for cream is 2°C (35°F). Reconstituted and imitation must be refrigerated and consumed the same day.


Since cream is to be whipped very often, a few observations on this point must be noted:

1. Cream must contain minimum 30-38% fat.

2. Avoid using homogenized cream. This will not whip satisfactorily. When whipping cream, tiny air bubbles are trapped and surrounded by the fat globules in the cream. Homogenized cream will have had the majority of the fat globules broken down and they will not be sufficient and strong enough to trap and hold the air cells.

3. The cream and utensils used for whipping must be chilled to below 8°C (46°F)

4. The utensils must be sterilized previously.

5. Glass or stainless steel containers are ideal for whipping cream. Avoid using aluminum, as it tends to discolor the cream turning it a dull gray.


Head of Department - Food Production




Butter is the product obtained by churning fresh cream. It consists of more than 80% butterfat and small amounts of protein, vitamin A & D, minerals, lactose and water. Butter must have a minimum of 80% fat content, a non-fat solid content of 2% and a maximum of 16% moisture (water). While milk is oil in water emulsion, butter is water in oil emulsion.


The average composition of butter is:

Fat 82.5%

Protein (casein) 1.5%

Lactose 2%

Salt 2%

Water 12%


1. The breed of the cow from which the milk was obtained.

2. The type of fed that was available for the cow.

3. The method of manufacture.

4. The efficiency of manufacture.

5. Whether or not the butter was blended

6. The addition of salt and coloring.

7. The method of packing and storing.


There are two main types of butter

- Fresh or ‘sweet’ cream butter

- Ripened or Lactic butter

Beside these two, there are also Blended and Milled Butters and Special butters.


The manufacture of butter is done in four main stages.

1. Holding: The cream is pasteurized at 95°C (203°F) and held for 2 to 4 seconds. It is then cooled to 4.5°C (40°F) and then held there for several hours to ensure the uniform hardening of the fat globules.

2. Ripening: When the end product is going to be a ripened butter or lactic butter, a starter will be added during the Holding stage. In this case the Holding stage will be 15.5-18.5°C (60-65°F) for 3 to 4 hours before being cooled to 4.5°C (40°F). The starter is a laboratory culture of acid-producing bacteria. This gives the butter a much fuller flavor. On storage, however, the flavor tends to fade. It therefore has a shorter life than the sweet cream butters. This stage will be omitted when making the sweet cream butter.

3. Churning: The churning of the cream is done in large stainless steel containers that hold about 1000 gallons of cream. The temperature must not exceed more than 4°C. The containers called churns are rotated while internal blades/rollers pass through the cream. This breaks the envelope of non-fat particles/solids that surround the small fat globules, which are released and coalesce to form larger groups of butter fat. The envelope is dispersed in the thin liquid part of the cream to form buttermilk. After about 30 minutes of churning, the butter separates out of the buttermilk in the form of grains and floats on the surface. The buttermilk is carefully drained away and used for other purposes.

4. Washing and Salting : The butter grains are now washed with ice water to remove any traces of buttermilk left on the surface of each grain in order to maximize the keeping quality. Ice water also helps to harden the butter grains. Salting can be done in two ways:

1. by adding fine grains of salt called dairy salt.

2. by soaking in a brine solution.

The butter grains are then worked into a smooth solid mass by rotating the churns slowly for 10 to 15 minutes. Coloring may also be added at this stage. If unsalted butter is required, the salting stage is omitted. The butter is now ready for packaging.


This is a blend of butters from different regions or countries. The are mixed together to obtain a uniformly acceptable product at a competitive price.


This group includes some uncommon butters and those which are not true butters. These include:

1. Whey Butter – The fat content of the whey obtained from the curd in cheese making may be used to produce butter, or it may be added to fresh cream/milk prior to being processed into butter. Due to its origins, this butter has a faint cheesy flavor.

2. Milk Blended Butter – Quantities of milk are blended into butter, thereby increasing the moisture content to 24% (maximum).

3. Powdered Butter – This is spray dried butter containing 80% milk fat and non-fatty solids. It is produced on a large scale in Australia and is used mainly in the Bakery trade.

4. Compound Butters – This is made by adding a particular natural flavor or color, which will depend on the type of food with which it is served. It is generally used as an accompaniment e.g.: Lobster butter, Parsley butter.

5. Cocoa and Peanut Butter – These are not true butters. They are obtained by crushing the cocoa bean or the peanut nibs. The resulting pastes are emulsified and used as flavorings.


The catering uses of butter are endless and without doubt will enhance the product into which it is added. They are available in three sizes:

- Individual portions or pats 10 GMS

- blocks of 100 GMS

- blocks of 500 GMS

The main uses can be listed as

1. As a spread for bread, toast and scones.

2. As a basic ingredient in pastry making

3. As a main ingredient in cake making

4. To enhance the taste and flavor of soups and sauces.

5. As a cooking medium.


Butter is a perishable product and tends to lose flavor and go rancid on prolonged storage.

1. It must be stored at refrigerated temperatures 2°C (35°F)

2. If purchased in bulk, it can be frozen at –25 to -30°C (-10 to -20°F) for several months.

3. Do not expose to sunlight as it will lose Vitamin A and go rancid faster.

4. Ripened butter has a shorter keeping quality.

5. Salted butters last longer than unsalted butters.


Head of Department Food Production



No comments:

Post a Comment