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Friday, June 05, 2009

Butter and Lactose

I got a good two-part question recently. I just have a minute today so I'll answer the quick and easy part now and tackle the other tomorrow.

I have read that there is little to no lactose left in butter, which I don't understand, since churning it creates cream, which I really must avoid.


This one's easy because it's a simple mistake of getting things backward, not hard to do when you're trying to remember something you've "read."

Churning butter does not create cream. Churning cream creates butter. The churning process pumps air into the fat, with the other solids and much of the water falling away. This remainder was the original buttermilk. (The modern buttermilk product is not very similar.)

Butter is about 20% water and 80% fat, with a slight amount of lactose left in the rounding. It really is low lactose and since you don't use very much butter in any particular serving of food can probably be eaten by most people even with lactose intolerance.

Could there be another problem with butter, though? That's what I'll talk about tomorrow.

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