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Keywords:

  • cream;
  • butter;
  • buttermilk;
  • fatty acids;
  • phospholipids

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Bovine milk contains hundreds of diverse components, including proteins, peptides, amino acids, lipids, lactose, vitamins and minerals. Specifically, the lipid composition is influenced by different variables such as breed, feed and technological process. In this study the fatty acid and phospholipid compositions of different samples of butter and its by-products from the Parmigiano Reggiano cheese area, produced by industrial and traditional churning processes, were determined.

RESULTS

The fatty acid composition of samples manufactured by the traditional method showed higher levels of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids compared with industrial samples. In particular, the contents of n-3 fatty acids and conjugated linoleic acids were higher in samples produced by the traditional method than in samples produced industrially. Sample phospholipid composition also varied between the two technological processes. Phosphatidylethanolamine was the major phospholipid in cream, butter and buttermilk samples obtained by the industrial process as well as in cream and buttermilk samples from the traditional process, while phosphatidylcholine was the major phospholipid in traditionally produced butter. This result may be explained by the different churning processes causing different types of membrane disruption. Generally, samples produced traditionally had higher contents of total phospholipids; in particular, butter produced by the traditional method had a total phospholipid content 33% higher than that of industrially produced butter.

CONCLUSION

The samples studied represent the two types of products present in the Parmigiano Reggiano cheese area, where the industrial churning process is widespread compared with the traditional processing of Reggiana cow's milk. This is because Reggiana cow's milk production is lower than that of other breeds and the traditional churning process is time-consuming and economically disadvantageous. However, its products have been demonstrated to contain more bioactive lipids compared with products obtained from other breeds and by the industrial process. © 2013 Society of Chemical Industry