Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Healthy Butter Spreads Better

February 17, 1999
CSIRO Australia
CSIRO scientists have developed a healthier butter that spreads straight from the fridge.

The daily struggle of a million mums and dads to spread rock-hard butter onto school or picnic sandwiches is almost over. Pure butter that spreads straight from the fridge, and is much healthier into the bargain, has been created by a team of CSIRO scientists.

Related Articles

The new spreadable butter heralds a revolution in one of humanity’s most traditional foods, which has been consumed with pleasure for more than 7000 years.

The reason butter spreads so poorly when cold, compared with margarine and blended spreads, is its high proportion of saturated, or hard, fatty acids, says Dr Suresh Gulati of CSIRO Animal Production.

This lack of spreadability, combined with negative consumer health perceptions, are the main factors behind a long-term decline in butter consumption by Australians.

The CSIRO team has achieved a double breakthrough, by developing special diets for dairy cows that mix mono-unsaturated and poly-unsaturated fats in an ideal combination – and then found ways to ensure these desirable fats pass into the milk and butter.

“Dairy pastures are naturally very high in polyunsaturates, but these are broken down by microbes in the cow’s first stomach (rumen), leaving the harder saturated fats,” Dr Gulati explains.

By feeding the cows a special blend of canola and soybean meal, and then protecting it against microbial attack in the first stomach with a coating of protein, the scientists have managed to ensure the desirable fats are carried right through into the end products of milk and meat.

The result is a doubling in butter’s spreadability, when taken out of a fridge at 5 degrees C, making it nearly as spreadable as margarine, without losing its special eating qualities.

It has also decreased the level of undesirable fatty acids in butter and replaced them with the healthier mono- and poly-unsaturates.

“Clinical trials by CSIRO Human Nutrition have shown that if you feed consumers butter, milk, ice-cream and other dairy products made from this kind of milk, it significantly lowers the amount of ‘bad cholesterol’ (low density lipoproteins or LDLs) in their blood.

“These studies concluded that fat modified dairy products, in a normal diet, may help lower the risk of heart disease and save lives without greatly changing people’s eating habits.”

The special diets for dairy cows have already been commercialised by an Australian firm, Rumentek Industries. Both the Australian and New Zealand dairy industries have expressed interest in developing commercial dairy products based on the new technology.

“Butter fat possesses a unique, luxurious flavour and characteristics such as mouth feel which are highly desirable to the human palate. It is perceived by consumers as a high quality natural product, without additives, that has been used for generations in cooking and as a spread,” says Dr Gulati.

“This wonderful flavour and texture of butter is due to the complex mix of fats that it contains, and it is very difficult to duplicate synthetically.

“By swapping some of the undesirable fats in butter with more desirable ones, we have managed to retain the unique eating qualities while at the same time giving consumers two other features they prize, spreadability and a healthier profile.

“My wife makes sandwiches for three schoolkids every day, and she was thrilled about this new product when I brought some home,” Dr Gulati says.

More information: [email protected]

Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by CSIRO Australia. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

Cite This Page:

CSIRO Australia. "Healthy Butter Spreads Better." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 February 1999. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/02/990216232719.htm>.
CSIRO Australia. (1999, February 17). Healthy Butter Spreads Better. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/02/990216232719.htm
CSIRO Australia. "Healthy Butter Spreads Better." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/02/990216232719.htm (accessed November 28, 2014).

Share This

More From ScienceDaily

More Health & Medicine News

Friday, November 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Rural India's Low-Cost Sanitary Pad Revolution

Rural India's Low-Cost Sanitary Pad Revolution

AFP (Nov. 28, 2014) — One man hopes his invention -– a machine that produces cheap sanitary pads –- will help empower Indian women. Duration: 01:51 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Research on Bats Could Help Develop Drugs Against Ebola

Research on Bats Could Help Develop Drugs Against Ebola

AFP (Nov. 28, 2014) — In Africa's only biosafety level 4 laboratory, scientists have been carrying out experiments on bats to understand how virus like Ebola are being transmitted, and how some of them resist to it. Duration: 01:18 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO Says Male Ebola Survivors Should Abstain From Sex

WHO Says Male Ebola Survivors Should Abstain From Sex

Newsy (Nov. 28, 2014) — WHO cites four studies that say Ebola can still be detected in semen up to 82 days after the onset of symptoms. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

AFP (Nov. 27, 2014) — The Ebola epidemic sweeping Sierra Leone is having a profound effect on the country's children, many of whom have been left without any family members to support them. Duration: 01:02 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.


Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News


Free Subscriptions

Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile

Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?

Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins