Butter has a very desirable flavor and is perceived by consumers as a high quality, natural product. However, its use in foods is sometimes limited by its functional performance. Milk fat is traditionally supplied to the food industry as butter or anhydrous milk fat, which may not be the forms best suited to some applications. The functional requirements of fats vary greatly depending on the application. For example, conventional butter is too firm to be spreadable when used directly from the refrigerator, but, for pastry applications, conventional butter is too soft. The functional properties of milk fat are easily modified by the use of fractionation, selective blending, and appropriate texturization to produce ingredients that are tailored to specific applications. Dry crystallization of milk fat is a simple physical process that separates milk fat into fractions that have different physical and chemical properties. Milk fat fractions can be blended with other fractions, intact milk fat, and other fats to produce an ingredient with the right melting profile. The fat blend is then combined with skim milk and other ingredients (e.g., emulsifiers and salt) and recrystallized under controlled conditions. This approach is illustrated for the manufacture of milk fat ingredients that are suitable for pastry, chocolate, and other applications.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Food Science
- Animal Science and Zoology