Butter and Dairy Fat Spreads

  • Bhavesh Panchal
  • Bhesh BhandariEmail author


Oils and fats are important ingredients in a wide variety of manufactured foods, and constitute a significant part of food recipes (Sato & Ueno, 2014). Spreadable fats are one of these which are ‘plastic’ in nature, able to be spread into a thin layer on food articles such as bread slice. The spreadable products include butter, margarine, and other fat blends and spreads which are usually based on milk fat, other fats (vegetable, animal or marine origin) or blend of milk fat and other fats. Among these, butter is known to be produced since ancient times as a very old way of preserving milk fat and has been known to be used in cooking and even for medical and cosmetic purposes (R. early, 1998). Butter remained relatively expensive commodity among fat-based products even after the introduction of commercial production (Varnam & Sutherland, 1994). As a result, ‘margarine’ was invented as an inexpensive substitute of butter in 1869 by French chemist ‘Hippolyte Mege-Mouries’ (Bumbalough, 2000; Freeman & Melnikov, 2005; Ghotra, Dyal, & Narine, 2002; Lane, 1998; Varnam & Sutherland, 1994). Margarine was widely accepted as a spread, however, is not recognized considerably similar to butter in terms of either taste, texture or mouth-feel due to its vegetable fat source (Ahmed & Luksas, 1988). Moreover, high-fat content in both margarine and butter was a major health concern for dietary conscious persons irrespective of the kind of fat it contained. As a consequence, a wide range of low fat spreads were introduced (Varnam & Sutherland, 1994).



This research was supported under Australian Research Council’s Industrial Transformation Research Hub (ITRH) funding scheme (IH120100005). The ARC Dairy Innovation Hub is a collaboration between the University of Melbourne, the University of Queensland and Dairy Innovation Australia Ltd.


  1. Ahmed, S. H., & Luksas, A. J. (1988). Spreadable butter-like composition and method for production thereof. In Google Patents.Google Scholar
  2. Alexa, R. I., Mounsey, J. S., O’Kennedy, B. T., & Jacquier, J. C. (2010). Effect of κ-carrageenan on rheological properties, microstructure, texture and oxidative stability of water-in-oil spreads. LWT - Food Science and Technology, 43(6), 843–848.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Baer, R., Ryali, J., Schingoethe, D., Kasperson, K., Donovan, D., Hippen, A., et al. (2001). Composition and properties of milk and butter from cows fed fish oil. Journal of Dairy Science, 84(2), 345–353.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Banks, W., & Christie, W. (1990). Feeding cows for the production of butter with good spreadability at refrigeration temperatures. Outlook on Agriculture, 19(1), 43–47.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bayourthe, C., Enjalbert, F., & Moncoulon, R. (2000). Effects of different forms of canola oil fatty acids plus canola meal on milk composition and physical properties of butter. Journal of Dairy Science, 83(4), 690–696.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Buchheim, W., & Dejmek, P. (1997). Milk and dairy-type emulsions. Food emulsions. New York, NY: Marcel Dekker.Google Scholar
  7. Buldo, P., Larsen, M. K., & Wiking, L. (2013). Multivariate data analysis for finding the relevant fatty acids contributing to the melting fractions of cream. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, 93(7), 1620–1625.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bumbalough, J. (2000). Margarine types and preparation technology. Fats and oils technology (2nd ed.pp. 452–462). Champaign, IL: AOCS.Google Scholar
  9. Burey, P., Bhandari, B., Howes, T., & Gidley, M. (2008). Hydrocolloid gel particles: Formation, characterization, and application. Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, 48(5), 361–377.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Cadden, A.-M., Urquhart, A., & Jelen, P. (1984). Evaluation of milk and butter from commercial dairy herds fed canola-based protected lipid feed supplement. Journal of dairy science, 67(9), 2041–2044.Google Scholar
  11. Campos, R., Narine, S., & Marangoni, A. (2002). Effect of cooling rate on the structure and mechanical properties of milk fat and lard. Food Research International, 35(10), 971–981.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Cerdeira, M., Martini, S., Hartel, R. W., & Herrera, M. L. (2003). Effect of sucrose ester addition on nucleation and growth behavior of milk fat-sunflower oil blends. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 51(22), 6550–6557.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Cheng, L., Lim, B., Chow, K., Chong, S., & Chang, Y. (2008). Using fish gelatin and pectin to make a low-fat spread. Food Hydrocolloids, 22(8), 1637–1640.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Couvreur, S., Hurtaud, C., Lopez, C., Delaby, L., & Peyraud, J.-L. (2006). The linear relationship between the proportion of fresh grass in the cow diet, milk fatty acid composition, and butter properties. Journal of Dairy Science, 89(6), 1956–1969.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Dairy Australia. (2018). Consumption summary. Retreived from
  16. Dickinson, E., & Chen, J. (1999). Heat-set whey protein emulsion gels: Role of active and inactive filler particles. Journal of Dispersion Science and Technology, 20(1-2), 197–213.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Dolby, R. (1941). The rheology of butter. III. The effect of variation in butter-making conditions on the hardness of the butter. Journal of Dairy Research, 12(3), 344–349.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Dolby, R. (1949). The properties of New Zealand butters and butterfats: II. The relation of hardness of New Zealand commercial butter to composition of the butterfat. Journal of Dairy Research, 16(3), 336–347.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Dolby, R. (1954). The effect of temperature treatment of cream before churning on the consistency of butter. Journal of Dairy Research, 21(1), 67–77.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Early, R. (1998). Technology of dairy products: Springer Science & Business Media.Google Scholar
  21. Evageliou, V., Alevisopoulos, S., & Kasapis, S. (1997). Application of stress-controlled analysis to the development of low fat spreads. Journal of Texture Studies, 28(3), 319–335.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Fearon, A. (2001). Optimising milkfat composition and processing properties. Australian Journal of Dairy Technology, 56(2), 104.Google Scholar
  23. Fedotova, Y., & Lencki, R. W. (2010). The effect of phospholipids on butter physical and sensory properties. Journal of the American Oil Chemists’ Society, 87(1), 75–82.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Foley, J., & Cooney, C. (1982). Quantification of factors influencing the firmness of butter. In Paper presented at the proceedings of the 21th Int Dairy Congress.Google Scholar
  25. Fox, P. F., & McSweeney, P. L. (1998). Dairy chemistry and biochemistry. New York, NY: Academic.Google Scholar
  26. Fredrick, E., Foubert, I., De Sype, J. V., & Dewettinck, K. (2008). Influence of monoglycerides on the crystallization behavior of palm oil. Crystal Growth and Design, 8(6), 1833–1839.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Freeman, I. P., & Melnikov, S. M. (2005). Margarines. In Ullmann’s encyclopedia of industrial chemistry. Weinheim, Germany: Wiley.Google Scholar
  28. Ghosh, S., & Rousseau, D. (2011). Fat crystals and water-in-oil emulsion stability. Current Opinion in Colloid & Interface Science, 16(5), 421–431.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Ghotra, B. S., Dyal, S. D., & Narine, S. S. (2002). Lipid shortenings: A review. Food Research International, 35(10), 1015–1048.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Heertje, I. (1993). Structure and function of food products: A review. Food Structure, 12(3), 7.Google Scholar
  31. Heertje, I., Leunis, M., Van Zeyl, W., & Berends, E. (1987). Product morphology of fatty products. Food Structure, 6(1), 2.Google Scholar
  32. Heertje, I., Van Eendenburg, J., Cornelissen, J., & Juriaanse, A. (1988). The effect of processing on some microstructural characteristics of fat spreads. Food Structure, 7(2), 9.Google Scholar
  33. Henning, D., Baer, R., Hassan, A., & Dave, R. (2006). Major advances in concentrated and dry milk products, cheese, and milk fat-based spreads. Journal of Dairy Science, 89(4), 1179–1188.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Herrera, M., & Hartel, R. (2000a). Effect of processing conditions on physical properties of a milk fat model system: Microstructure. Journal of the American Oil Chemists’ Society, 77(11), 1197–1205.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Herrera, M., & Hartel, R. (2000b). Effect of processing conditions on physical properties of a milk fat model system: Rheology. Journal of the American Oil Chemists’ Society, 77(11), 1189–1196.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Hillbrick, G., & Augustin, M. (2002). Milkfat characteristics and functionality: Opportunities for improvement. Australian Journal of Dairy Technology, 57(1), 45.Google Scholar
  37. Hunziker, O. (1924). Facts about carbonated butter. Journal of Dairy Science, 7(5), 484–496.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Hurtaud, C., Faucon, F., Couvreur, S., & Peyraud, J.-L. (2010). Linear relationship between increasing amounts of extruded linseed in dairy cow diet and milk fatty acid composition and butter properties. Journal of Dairy Science, 93(4), 1429–1443.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Juriaanse, A., & Heertje, I. (1988). Microstructure of shortenings, margarine and butter-a review. Food Structure, 7(2), 8.Google Scholar
  40. Kapsalis, J., Kristoffersen, T., Gould, I., & Betscher, J. (1963). Effect of chemical additives on the spreading quality of butter. II. Laboratory and plant churnings. Journal of Dairy Science, 46(2), 107–113.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Kaylegian, K. E., & Lindsay, R. C. (1992). Performance of selected milk fat fractions in cold-spreadable butter. Journal of Dairy Science, 75(12), 3307–3317.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Keogh, M. (2006). Chemistry and technology of butter and milk fat spreads. In Advanced dairy chemistry volume 2: Lipids (pp. 333–363). New York, NY: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Kontkanen, H., Rokka, S., Kemppinen, A., Miettinen, H., Hellström, J., Kruus, K., et al. (2011). Enzymatic and physical modification of milk fat: A review. International Dairy Journal, 21(1), 3–13.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Krause, A., Lopetcharat, K., & Drake, M. (2007). Identification of the characteristics that drive consumer liking of butter. Journal of Dairy Science, 90(5), 2091–2102.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Lane, R. (1998). Butter and mixed fat spreads. In Technology of dairy products (p. 158). London, UK: Blackie Academic & Professional.Google Scholar
  46. Lin, M., Sims, C., Staples, C., & O’Keefe, S. (1996). Flavor quality and texture of modified fatty acid high monoene, low saturate butter. Food Research International, 29(3), 367–371.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Lopez, C., & Ollivon, M. (2009). Crystallisation of triacylglycerols in nanoparticles. Journal of Thermal Analysis and Calorimetry, 98(1), 29–37.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Marangoni, A., & Rousseau, D. (1998). Chemical and enzymatic modification of butterfat and butterfat-canola oil blends. Food Research International, 31(8), 595–599.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Martini, S., & Herrera, M. L. (2008). Physical properties of shortenings with low-trans fatty acids as affected by emulsifiers and storage conditions. European Journal of Lipid Science and Technology, 110(2), 172–182.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. McClements, D. J. (2004). Protein-stabilized emulsions. Current Opinion in Colloid & Interface Science, 9(5), 305–313.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Moran, D. P. (1994). Fats in spreadable products. In Fats in food products (pp. 155–211). Cham, Switzerland: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Mortensen, B. (2011). Milk fat-based spreads. In Encyclopedia of dairy sciences (pp. 522–527). Oxford, UK: Academic.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Mortensen, B., & Denmark, T. (2011). Butter and other milk fat products, the product and its manufacture. In Encyclopedia of dairy sciences (pp. 492–499). Oxford, UK: Academic.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Mounsey, J. S., Stathopoulos, C. E., Chockchaisawasdee, S., O’Kennedy, B. T., Gee, V. L., & Doyle, J. (2008). Effect of zinc fortifications on rheological properties and micro-structure of water-in-oil spreads containing κ-carrageenan. European Food Research and Technology, 227(3), 675–681.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Mulder, H., & Walstra, P. (1974). The milk fat globule. In Emulsion science as applied to milk products and comparable foods. Wageningen, Netherlands: Centre for Agricultural Publishing and Documentation.Google Scholar
  56. Murphy, J., Connolly, J., & McNeill, G. (1995). Effects on cow performance and milk fat composition of feeding full fat soyabeans and rapeseeds to dairy cows at pasture. Livestock Production Science, 44(1), 13–25.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Murphy, J. J., McNeill, G. P., Connolly, J. F., & Gleeson, P. A. (1990). Effect on cow performance and milk fat composition of including full fat soyabeans and rapeseeds in the concentrate mixture for lactating dairy cows. Journal of Dairy Research, 57(03), 295–306.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Narine, S. S., & Marangoni, A. G. (1999). Fractal nature of fat crystal networks. Physical Review E, 59(2), 1908.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Panchal, B., Truong, T., Prakash, S., Bansal, N., Bhandari, B., & Hub, A. D. I. (2017). Effect of fat globule size on the churnability of dairy cream. Food Research International, 99(1), 229–238.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Platt, B. L., & Gupta, B. B. (1989). Low fat spread and process for preparing same. U.S. Patent No. 4,865,867. Washington, DC: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.Google Scholar
  61. Pothiraj, C., Zuntilde, R., Simonin, H., Chevallier, S., & Le-Bail, A. (2012). Methodology assessment on melting and texture properties of spread during ageing and impact of sample size on the representativeness of the results. Journal of Stored Products and Postharvest Research, 3(10), 137–144.Google Scholar
  62. Prucha, M., Brannon, J., & Ruehe, H. (1925). Carbonation of butter. Journal of Dairy Science, 8(4), 318–329.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Rafanan, R., & Rousseau, D. (2017). Dispersed droplets as active fillers in fat-crystal network-stabilized water-in-oil emulsions. Food Research International, 99, 355–362.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Rønholt, S., Kirkensgaard, J. J. K., Mortensen, K., & Knudsen, J. C. (2014). Effect of cream cooling rate and water content on butter microstructure during four weeks of storage. Food Hydrocolloids, 34, 169–176.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Rønholt, S., Kirkensgaard, J. J. K., Pedersen, T. B., Mortensen, K., & Knudsen, J. C. (2012). Polymorphism, microstructure and rheology of butter. Effects of cream heat treatment. Food Chemistry, 135(3), 1730–1739.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Rønholt, S., Madsen, A. S., Kirkensgaard, J. J., Mortensen, K., & Knudsen, J. C. (2014). Effect of churning temperature on water content, rheology, microstructure and stability of butter during four weeks of storage. Food Structure, 2(1), 14–26.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Rønholt, S., Mortensen, K., & Knudsen, J. C. (2013). The effective factors on the structure of butter and other milk fat-based products. Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety, 12(5), 468–482.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Rousseau, D., Ghosh, S., & Park, H. (2009). Comparison of the dispersed phase coalescence mechanisms in different tablespreads. Journal of Food Science, 74(1), E1–E7.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Sato, K., & Ueno, S. (2014). Physical properties of fats in food. In Fats in food technology. Chichester, UK: Wiley.Google Scholar
  70. Schäffer, B., Szakály, S., Lorinczy, D., & Belágyi, J. (2000). Structure of butter. IV. Effect of modification of cream ripening and fatty acid composition on the consistency of butter. Milchwissenschaft, 55(3), 132–135.Google Scholar
  71. Scott, T., Cook, L., Ferguson, K., McDonald, I., Buchanan, R., & Hills, G. L. (1970). Production of poly-unsaturated milk fat in domestic ruminants. Australian Journal of Science, 32, 291–293.Google Scholar
  72. Segura, J., Herrera, M., & Añón, M. (1990). Storage of commercial margarine at different temperatures. Journal of the American Oil Chemists’ Society, 67(12), 989–992.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Shi, Y., Smith, C., & Hartel, R. (2001). Compositional effects on milk fat crystallization. Journal of Dairy Science, 84(11), 2392–2401.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  74. Shukla, A., Bhaskar, A., Rizvi, S., & Mulvaney, S. (1994). Physicochemical and rheological properties of butter made from supercritically fractionated milk fat. Journal of Dairy Science, 77(1), 45–54.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Smith, K. W., Bhaggan, K., Talbot, G., & van Malssen, K. F. (2011). Crystallization of fats: Influence of minor components and additives. Journal of the American Oil Chemists’ Society, 88(8), 1085–1101.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. Smith, P. R. (2000). The effects of phospholipids on crystallisation and crystal habit in triglycerides. European Journal of Lipid Science and Technology, 102(2), 122–127.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. Syrbe, A., Bauer, W., & Klostermeyer, H. (1998). Polymer science concepts in dairy systems—an overview of milk protein and food hydrocolloid interaction. International Dairy Journal, 8(3), 179–193.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. Tanaka, L., Isogai, T., Miura, S., & Murakami, M. (2010). Effect of triacylglycerol species on the crystallizing behavior of a model water/oil emulsion. European Journal of Lipid Science and Technology, 112(3), 304–309.Google Scholar
  79. Tondhoosh, A., Nayebzadeh, K. A., Mohamadifar, M., Homayouni-Rad, A., & Hosseinoghli, H. (2016). Industrial application of different heat treatments and cream fat contents for improving the spreadability of butter. Recent Patents on Food, Nutrition & Agriculture, 8(2), 107–115.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  80. Truong, T., Palmer, M., Bansal, N., & Bhandari, B. (2017). Effect of solubilised carbon dioxide at low partial pressure on crystallisation behaviour, microstructure and texture of anhydrous milk fat. Food Research International, 95, 82–90.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  81. Truong, T., Palmer, M., Bansal, N., Bhandari, B., & Hub, A. D. I. (2018). Effects of dissolved carbon dioxide in fat phase of cream on manufacturing and physical properties of butter. Journal of Food Engineering, 226, 9–21.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  82. Van Dalen, G. (2002). Determination of the water droplet size distribution of fat spreads using confocal scanning laser microscopy. Journal of Microscopy, 208(2), 116–133.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  83. Vanhoutte, B., Dewettinck, K., Foubert, I., Vanlerberghe, B., & Huyghebaert, A. (2002). The effect of phospholipids and water on the isothermal crystallisation of milk fat. European Journal of Lipid Science and Technology, 104(8), 490–495.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  84. Varnam, A. H., & Sutherland, J. P. (1994). Butter, margarine and spreads. In Milk and milk products (pp. 224–274). New York, NY: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  85. Walstra, P. (1999). Dairy technology: Principles of milk properties and processes. New York: CRC Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  86. Walstra, P., Walstra, P., Wouters, J. T., & Geurts, T. J. (2005). Dairy science and technology. New York: CRC Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  87. Wiking, L., De Graef, V., Rasmussen, M., & Dewettinck, K. (2009). Relations between crystallisation mechanisms and microstructure of milk fat. International Dairy Journal, 19(8), 424–430.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  88. Wilbey, R. (1994). Production of butter and dairy based spreads. In Robinson: Modern dairy technology (pp. 107–158). New York, NY: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  89. Williams, C. M. (2000). Dietary fatty acids and human health. In Paper presented at the Annales de Zootechnie.Google Scholar
  90. Wright, A., & Marangoni, A. (2006). Crystallization and rheological properties of milk fat. In Advanced dairy chemistry volume 2: Lipids (pp. 245–291). New York, NY: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  91. Wright, A., Scanlon, M., Hartel, R., & Marangoni, A. (2001). Rheological properties of milkfat and butter. Journal of Food Science, 66(8), 1056–1071.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  92. Zárubová, M., Filip, V., Kšandová, L., Šmidrkal, J., & Piska, I. (2010). Rheological and crystalline properties of trans-free model fat blends as affected by the length of fatty acid chains. Journal of Food Engineering, 99(4), 459–464.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  93. Zhang, H., Smith, P., & Adler-Nissen, J. (2004). Effects of degree of enzymatic interesterification on the physical properties of margarine fats: Solid fat content, crystallization behavior, crystal morphology, and crystal network. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 52(14), 4423–4431.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.ARC Dairy Innovation HubSchool of Agriculture and Food Sciences, The University of QueenslandSt LuciaAustralia

Personalised recommendations