Butter acts as a balance wheel of dairy industry. Whenever surplus milk is produced, it is usually converted in to butter. During the periods of scarcity, the milk meant for butter production would be used for production of other essential items. References to the butter found a place in the Old Testament.

Butter may be defined as a fat concentrate, obtained by churning cream, gathering the fat into compact mass and then working it.

According to the PFA rules (1976), table creamery butter is the product obtained from cow or buffalo milk or a combination there of, or from cream or curd from cow or buffalo milk or a combination thereof with or without the addition of common salt and annatto or carotene as colouring matter. It should be free from other animal fats, wax, and mineral oils, vegetable oils and fats. No preservatives except common salt and no colouring matter except annatto and carotene may be added.

Butter must contain not less than 80 % by weight of milk fat, not more than 1.5 % by weight of curd, and not more than 3% by weight of common salt. Diacetyl may be added as a flavouring agent but if so used the total diacetyl content must not exceed 4 ppm. Calcium hydroxide, sodium carbonate, sodium polyphosphate may be added, but must not exceed the weight of butter as whole by more than 0.2 %. These are the standards prescribed for butter as per the PFA rules. Butter is very rich in fat and fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K.

Learn more about how to make butter and its uses