Definitions and Standards

Milkfat

the lipid components of milk, as produced by the cow, and found in commercial milk and milk-derived products, mostly comprised of triglyceride.

Butterfat

almost synonymous with milkfat; all of the fat components in milk that are separable by churning.

Anhydrous Milkfat (AMF) 

the commercially- prepared extraction of cow's milkfat, found in bulk or concentrated form (comprised of 100% fat, but not necessarily all of the lipid components of milk).

Butteroil 

synonymous with anhydrous milkfat; (conventional terminology in the fats and oils field differentiates an oil from a fat based on whether it is liquid at room temp. or solid, but very arbitrary).

Butter 

a water-in-oil emulsion, comprised of >80% milkfat, but also containing water in the form of tiny droplets, perhaps some milk solids-not-fat, with or without salt (sweet butter); texture is a result of working/kneading during processing at appropriate temperatures, to establish fat crystalline network that results in desired smoothness (compare butter with melted and recrystallized butter); used as a spread, a cooking fat, or a baking ingredient.

The principal constituents of a normal salted butter are fat (80 - 82%), water (15.6 - 17.6%), salt (about 1.2%) as well as protein, calcium and phosphorous (about 1.2%). Butter also contains fat-soluble vitamins A, D and E.

Butter should have a uniform colour, be dense and taste clean. The water content should be dispersed in fine droplets so that the butter looks dry. The consistency should be smooth so that the butter is easy to spread and melts readily on the tongue.