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‘Buttermilk – a strategic review of opportunities and applications’ (November 2007)

Report # 4 in’s ‘Target business opportunities’ series of publications

This report is predicated by the fact that there is a significant amount of buttermilk produced each year. On that basis that 4.13 million mt of butter is produced on an industrial scale p.a., this equates to around 410,000 buttermilk powder equivalent. Of course not all buttermilk is recovered, and not all is converted to BMP. Nevertheless the volume of buttermilk solids produced for commercial purposes is significant, and is increasingly recognized as containing some unique components – including protein & lipid material with purported nutraceutical qualities that place the material as a greater potential goldmine than the currency of whey stream value-adding that is very much in fashion.

Buttermilk solids are widely recognized as the liquid product remaining after wholemilk is churned. It typically contains more fat than skim milk, can be more acidic, and is recognized as having a mild laxative effect, and is widely accepted as having applications in animal feeding systems. But, this report does not look at buttermilk for feed. Nor does it consider buttermilk as a cultured product made from pasteurized or ultra-pasteurized skim milk. The focus is squarely on buttermilk derived from four essential dairy processing activities:

  • Sweet buttermilk derived from conventional creamery butter churning operations
  • Cultured buttermilk derived by churning cultured cream during the manufacture of lactic butter
  • Buttermilk arising from phase inversion during the manufacture of AMF
  • Whey buttermilk arising from the churning of whey cream

There is plenty of knowledge about the manufacturing, properties and applications of primary buttermilk forms – fresh buttermilk, concentrated buttermilk and buttermilk powder – and buttermilk used in blends, fat-filled buttermilk products, and the like. This report refreshes these areas with a perspective on the future. The reader is also drawn to some key developing fields, including:

  • Derivation of buttermilk from AMF manufacture
  • Utilizing buttermilk for yield improvements, tailoring specific outcomes (high fat SMP, high fat BMP
  • Second stage separation with applications in low fat table spreads, standardizing cheese milk, for manufacturing table cream, to improve the texture of ice cream products
  • UF concentration of buttermilk with various applications
  • A two-step UF/MF process delivering a product for various applications
  • SCFE of buttermilk for high value, high end derivatives
  • MFGM isolation
  • Buttermilk as a source of unique dairy protein material
  • Fractionation of buttermilk – deriving lipids, proteins
  • Buttermilk as an ingredient in cheese manufacture

Click here for full details of the report.