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J Dairy Sci. 2008 Feb;91(2):455-65. doi: 10.3168/jds.2007-0717.

The effect of refrigerated and frozen storage on butter flavor and texture.

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Department of Food Science, Southeast Dairy Research Center, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695, USA.


Butter is often stored for extended periods of time; therefore, it is important for manufacturers to know the refrigerated and frozen shelf life. The objectives of this study were to characterize the effect of refrigerated and frozen storage on the sensory and physical characteristics of butter. Fresh butter was obtained on 2 occasions from 2 facilities in 113-g sticks and 4-kg bulk blocks (2 facilities, 2 package forms). Butters were placed into both frozen (-20 degrees C) and refrigerated storage (5 degrees C). Frozen butters were sampled after 0, 6, 12, 15, and 24 mo; refrigerated butters were sampled after 0, 3, 6, 9, 12, 15, and 18 mo. Every 3 mo, oxidative stability index (OSI) and descriptive sensory analysis (texture, flavor, and color) were conducted. Every 6 mo, peroxide value (PV), free fatty acid value (FFV), fatty acid profiling, vane, instrumental color, and oil turbidity were examined. A mixed-model ANOVA was conducted to characterize the effects of storage time, temperature, and package type. Storage time, temperature, and package type affected butter flavor, OSI, PV, and FFV. Refrigerated butter quarters exhibited refrigerator/stale off-flavors concurrent with increased levels of oxidation (lower oxidative stability and higher PV and FFV) within 6 mo of refrigerated storage, and similar trends were observed for refrigerated bulk butter after 9 mo. Off-flavors were not evident in frozen butters until 12 or 18 mo for quarters and bulk butters, respectively. Off-flavors in frozen butters were not correlated with instrumental oxidation measurements. Because butter is such a desirable fat source in terms of flavor and textural properties, it is important that manufacturers understand how long their product can be stored before negative attributes develop.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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