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Percentages are roughly approximated using US recommendations for adults. Most frequently made from cows’ milk, butter can also be manufactured from the milk of other mammals, including sheep, goats, buffalo, and yaks. Butter is often served for spreading on conjoin bitcoin wiki with a butter knife. In general use, the term “butter” refers to the spread dairy product when unqualified by other descriptors.

Churning cream into butter using a hand-held mixer. Unhomogenized milk and cream contain butterfat in microscopic globules. Churning produces small butter grains floating in the water-based portion of the cream. This watery liquid is called buttermilk—although the buttermilk most common today is instead a directly fermented skimmed milk. Then the grains are “worked”: pressed and kneaded together.

Butterfat is a mixture of triglyceride, a triester derived from glycerol and three of any of several fatty acid groups. In some countries, butter is given a grade before commercial distribution. Before modern factory butter making, cream was usually collected from several milkings and was therefore several days old and somewhat fermented by the time it was made into butter. Butter made from a fermented cream is known as cultured butter. Today, cultured butter is usually made from pasteurized cream whose fermentation is produced by the introduction of Lactococcus and Leuconostoc bacteria.

Chart of milk products and production relationships, including butter. Another method for producing cultured butter, developed in the early 1970s, is to produce butter from fresh cream and then incorporate bacterial cultures and lactic acid. Using this method, the cultured butter flavor grows as the butter is aged in cold storage. For manufacturers, this method is more efficient, since aging the cream used to make butter takes significantly more space than simply storing the finished butter product.

Dairy products are often pasteurized during production to kill pathogenic bacteria and other microbes. Butter made from pasteurized fresh cream is called sweet cream butter. Butter made from fresh or cultured unpasteurized cream is called raw cream butter. While butter made from pasteurized cream may keep for several months, raw cream butter has a shelf life of roughly ten days. Throughout continental Europe, cultured butter is preferred, while sweet cream butter dominates in the United States and the United Kingdom. Cultured butter is sometimes labeled “European-style” butter in the United States, although cultured butter is made and sold by some, especially Amish, dairies. Several “spreadable” butters have been developed.