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The effective factors on the structure of butter and other milk fat-based products

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Stine Rønholt, Kell Mortensen, Jes Christian Knudsen

Butter and other milk fat-based products are valuable products for the dairy industry due to their unique
taste, their textural characteristics, and nutritional value. However, an increased consumer demand for low-fat-based
products increases the need for an increased essential understanding of the effective factors governing the structure of
milk fat-based products. Today, 2 manufacturing techniques are available: the churning method and the emulsification
method. The first is typically used for production of butter with a globular structure, which has become increasingly
popular to obtain low-fat-based products, typically without presence of milk fat globules. The microstructure of milk fatbased
products is strongly related to their structural rheology, hence applications. Structural behavior is not determined
by one single parameter, but by the interactions between many. This complexity is reviewed here. Parameters such
as thermal treatment of cream prior to butter making, water content, and chemical composition influence not only
crystal polymorphism, but also the number and sizes of fat crystals. The number of crystal–crystal interactions formed
within the products is related to product hardness. During storage, however, postcrystallization increases the solid fat
content and strengthens the fat crystal network. The fat crystal network is strengthened by the formation of more and
stronger crystal–crystal interactions due to mechanically interlinking of fat crystals, which occurs during crystal growth.
Postcrystallization is directly linked to chemical composition. The initially observed microstructural difference causing
different rheological behavior will disappear during storage due to postcrystallization and formation of more crystal–crystal
interactions.
Original languageEnglish
JournalComprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety
Volume12
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)468-482
Number of pages15
ISSN1541-4337
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

ID: 46018787