Introduction And Definitions

A. Volumes of Butter and Brief History

Worldwide consumption of butter and milkfat products is estimated at 2,420,000 tons in 1993 for countries where data are available (Table 1). In 1998, the United States produced 1082 X 106 lb of butter with none being purchased by the government as surplus (IDFA, 1999). Butter was one of the first dairy products manufactured by humans and has been traded internationally since the 14th century (Anderson, 1986; Varnam and Sutherland, 1994). All butter manufacture relies on cream as a starting material. From ancient times through the latter part of the 1800s, cream was obtained from milk by gravity separation. In the 1850s, creameries began producing butter on a small scale. Large-scale manufacture only became possible after development of the mechanical cream separator in 1877 (Varnam and Sutherland, 1994).

B. Composition and Types of Butter

Butter is a water-in-oil emulsion, wherein milkfat forms the continuous phase. This is in contrast to cream, which is an emulsion of milkfat globules suspended in an aqueous phase. Thus, an emulsion phase inversion occurs during manufac-

*Present affiliation: Center for Food Safety, The University of Georgia, Griffin, Georgia.

Table 1 Total Consumption of

Butter and Milkfat Products (1993)


1000 tons


Was this article helpful?

0 0

Post a comment