Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Nutrition, Dietetics, and Food Sciences

Committee Chair(s)

Silvana Martini


Silvana Martini


Prateek Sharma


Karin Allen


Butter is a desirable fat rich product used for laminated pastries, like croissants, because of its flavor and consumer acceptance. However, butter has some functional aspects that reduce its performance and quality. In manufacturing of butter for laminated pastries, large blocks of butter are pushed through a rectangular opening to form a thin sheet. In this process it is not unusual to see water dripping, indicating water loss in the butter. The purpose of this study was to understand the properties of butter and their role in water loss during processing.

The properties of commercial butters were tested to understand their relation to water loss. Water content was found to play a key role in water loss. Butters with less water and a lower amount of solid fat at low temperatures had less water loss. Changes in fat content of cream were tested to see the impact on butter properties and water loss. Water content and fat content of the cream led to a higher amount of water loss. This study indicated that the butter needed to be pliable without losing its structure to reduce water loss. Lastly, three fats with different melting properties were added to the cream for butter making. The fat that was solid at higher temperatures made a harder butter with a lower water content. This butter had the lowest amount of water loss in this method. A similar method was performed adding the butter fat to the end of the butter making process. This resulted in a lower water loss in the softer butter. However, all the butters made in that method had large crystals that would not be desirable for consumers. These studies indicate that the properties of the butter play a role in water loss and that they can be manipulated by the water content and processing method. For best results in water loss reduction a lower fat cream (38-46%) with a butter fat that is solid at higher temperatures and that is incorporated in the cream before churning is recommended.