Canadian Dairy Commission

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Butteroil is a dairy product which is created by removing the moisture and the nonfat milk solids contained in butter. It is a milk fat-based dairy product in its purest form. In terms of a packaged good, butteroil is an efficient and economical means of transporting and storing butterfat.

Butterfat in milk is comprised of various types of fat lipids, each fraction having its own particular melting point. The main fraction consists of triglycerides of fatty acids. The melting point for milkfat is 37.C; butteroil begins to solidify at temperatures of less than 17.C. Butteroil is commonly stored in 200 kg drums and may be stored at ambient temperatures.

Butteroil is a convenient dairy ingredient to use in liquid form mainly because it is easy to mix with, and meter into, food recipes and formulas. Typically packed in containers in which air is replaced with nitrogen or carbon dioxide to prevent oxidation, butteroil should be stored at a temperature of 4.4.C to promote extended shelf life.


Anhydrous milk fat products are manufactured in three common and distinct varieties:

1.  Anhydrous Milk Fat:

    • must contain at least 99.8 percent milk fat and be made from fresh cream or butter;
    • no additives (for neutralization of free fatty acids) are permitted.

2.  Anhydrous Butteroil:

    • must contain at least 99.8 percent milk fat but can be made from cream or butter of different ages;
    • use of alkali (an additive) to neutralize free fatty acids is permitted.

3.  Butteroil:

    • must contain at least 99.3 percent milk fat;
    • raw material and processing specifications are the same as for Anhydrous Butteroil;
    • salt must not exceed 0.05 percent and free fatty acids must not exceed
      0.5 percent;
    • its peroxide value cannot exceed 0.2 percent. (The peroxide value is a number that indicates the level of peroxides in a fat or oil. It is a measure of the amount of oxidation of the fat or oil);
    • as for heavy metals, butteroil must not exceed 0.05 p.p.m. of Copper and 0.2 p.p.m. of Iron;
    • as for the bacteriological characteristics, the Total Plate Count should not exceed 1000 CFU/g and should be free of Coliforms and Salmonella in one gram and 25 grams respectively.

Typical composition of Butteroil











Note: Anhydrous milk fat or anhydrous butteroil must contain less than 0.2 percent moisture.

Various Uses

Butteroil possesses a light yellow colour and has a clean bland taste, free from sour, bitter, rancid, oxidized or other objectionable flavours. Intense heat treatment is not used in the manufacturing process. Consequently, butteroil lacks heated butter flavours. In the dairy products industry, it is used for recombination with skimmed milk powder to produce liquid milk and other milk products. Lecithin in butteroil is used to produce instant milk powder. In baking, butteroil can be sprayed on cracker surfaces to enhance gloss and appearance. It is also used in the chocolate manufacturing industry.

The advantages of using butteroil are:

  • No splattering or burn-on during sautéing;
  • Increased puff for pastries and pie shells;
  • Aroma and flavour enhancement in bakery items;
  • Control of fat bloom in chocolate candy; and
  • Ease of melting, pumping and mixing with other food ingredients.

Butteroil is also available in a lipolyzed form, having been modified enzymatically by lipases to produce a concentrated source of creamy and buttery flavours for use in bakery, low-fat and low-calorie caramel food products.

Powders of spray-dried butteroil encapsulated in sugar or flour are used as food ingredients in bakery, confectionery and ice cream manufacture.

Functional Properties

Milk fat has many functional properties which makes butteroil a most valuable food ingredient. The most notable are the following:

  • Air incorporation
  • antistaling (through moisture dispersion and retention)
  • creaming
  • flavour
  • flavour carrier
  • gloss
  • layering
  • shortening

Milk fat is composed of triglycerides ranging from volatile low-melting to high-melting fractions. Fractionation of butteroil through various separation processes is based on different methods of crystallization of triglycerides at different temperatures. These fractions have specific functional properties and can be used in various food products. For example, the high melting fractions may be used as cocoa butter substitutes or as shortening for specialty baked goods such as Danish pastry. Also, the low-melting fractions with a concentration of flavours, vitamins and pigments could be used for production of a soft butter, spreadable at refrigerator temperatures.

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