A Review Paper: Current Knowledge of Ghee and Related Products
Ghee is produced mainly by indigenous methods in Asia, the Middle-East and Africa and the methods of manufacture and characteristics vary. Some ambiguity in the definition of ghee occurs mainly due to regional differences and preferences for the product, commonly used for culinary purposes but also for particular social functions and therapeutic purposes. The characteristic flavour of ghee is its major criterion for acceptance. Flavour is greatly influenced by the fermentation of the cream or butter and the heating processes. Carbonyls, lactones and free fatty acids are reported to be the key ghee flavouring compounds. Ghee is fairly shelf-stable largely because of its low moisture content and possible antioxidative properties. Ghee may contain high amounts of conjugated linoleic acid, a newly reported anticarcinogen. However, it is also reported that, under certain circumstances, it may contain certain amounts of cholesterol oxidation compounds (COPS) which may cause adverse health effects.