Saturday, November 06, 2021

Ripening process of butter

The thermal treatment of the cream, also known as ripening, is the most time-consuming step in butter production; however, it governs the crystallization of the fat and thereafter the consistency of the butter.

Ripening is needed for production of desirable flavor and aroma in butter; also facilitates exhaustive churning. Ripening improves the keeping quality of un-salted butter but reduces the keeping quality of salted butter.

Ripening involves addition of starter culture, mixing it thoroughly and storing the cream (incubating) at controlled temperature. Traditionally cream for ripened cream butter is fermented by selected lactic acid bacteria, which produce lactic acid from lactose and diacetyl (principal flavouring component in ripened cream butter) from citric acid.

Starter culture consisting of a mixture of both acid producing (Streptococcus lactis, S.cremories) and flavour producing (S.diacetylactis, Leuconostoc citrovorum and/or Leuc. dextranicum) organisms is added. Amount of starter added depends on several factors and usually ranges between 0.5-2.0 percent of the weight of the cream.

The cream is ripened to pH 5.5 at 21°C and then pH 4.6 at 13°C to arrest further acid development. Most flavor development occurs between pH 5.5 - 4.6. Biosynthesis of diacetyl is not sufficient above pH 5.5.

The colder the temperature during ripening the more the flavor development relative to acid production. Ripened butter is usually not washed or salted.
Ripening process of butter

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