Milk and Dairy Products in Human Nutrition: Production, Composition and Health, First Edition. Edited by Young W. Park
and George F.W. Haenlein.
© 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Published 2013 by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Butter, Ghee, and Cream Products
Hae-Soo Kwak, Palanivel Ganesan, and Mohammad Al Mijan
Department of Food Science and Technology, Sejong University, Seoul, Korea
Corresponding author: Email: email@example.com
Butter, ghee, and cream are complex biological dairy
products composed of mainly milk fat and other minor
components, such as water, minerals, vitamins, and
enzymes. The milk fat components are highly concentrated
in ghee followed by butter and cream, and much of the
protein fractions are lost in the preparation of ghee, and
few beneficial components are generated during the
fermentation of cream, butter, and ghee. These dairy
products are highly nutritive and are rich in components
that are beneficial for health, such as milk fat globule
membrane (MFGM), conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), and
fatty acids. In addition to its nutrient value when consumed
in the diet, MFGM also contains many bioactive com-
ponents that are beneficial for health (Mather, 2000).
Phospholipid compounds in MFGM play various roles,
including cell proliferation, apoptosis, signal transduction,
blood coagulation, and neuronal signaling in the human
body (Pettus et al., 2004). In addition, MFGM sphingolipids
also show antibacterial and cholesterol-lowering activities
in the human body (Rombaut & Dewettinck, 2006).
Another health beneficial component is CLA, which
enhances the quality of butter during storage (Baer et al.,
2001). In addition, some dairy starter bacteria like
Propionibacterium can produce CLA by converting linoleic
acid in vitro (Jiang et al., 1998). However, such conversion
in fermented cream and butter is yet to be studied.
The health benefits of cream and butter are well known
in a world where Western and European food types are
increasingly consumed; however, health benefits of ghee
are still being discovered. Ghee is well known on the
Indian subcontinent and it was produced in ancient India as
far back as 1500 (Achaya, 1997). The major use of ghee
is in frying and dressing foods, and it is considered a sacred
article in some religious rites (Rajorhia, 1993). Ghee in
pure form is used to feed children because of its therapeu-
tic value, and is mixed with honey and used as an aphro-
disiac. Ghee is considered to be fairly stable due to the low
water content and high antioxidative properties. Ghee is
also rich in CLA, which shows anticarcinogenic effects
(Sserunjogi et al., 1998).
Even though cream, butter, and ghee are rich in milk
fat components beneficial for health, they are also rich in
saturated and unsaturated fatty acids, triacylglycerol, and
cholesterol (Jensen, 2002). Since some of the saturated
fats are considered to contribute to disease such as
atherosclerosis, their role in human health is quite
controversial (Berner, 1993). Some fatty acids add a
certain specific flavor to butter, such as butyric acid, but
they also have health benefits, such as anticancer
properties. Some research has also been conducted to
remove cholesterol and to improve the health benefits of
cream, butter, and ghee. Recent research in dairy products
has shown that milk fat components possess some
functions beneficial for health in addition to the basic
nutritive value, and various health beneficial biological
compounds have been detected in milk, but less is known
about milk products, such as butter, ghee, and cream. The
18 / Butter, Ghee, and Cream Products 391
purpose of this chapter is to focus on the manufacture
and nutrition of butter, ghee, and cream with major
emphasis on their health beneficial compounds.
18.2 MANUFACTURE OF BUTTER, GHEE,
Butter is a water-in-oil emulsion with a minimum fat content
of 80%, in which water content should not exceed 16% and
non-fat milk solids generally constitute 2%. There is a
substantial annual consumption of butter worldwide and
world production of butter is as high as 4.1 million tons per
annum (Mortensen, 2011). Butter products are broadly
classified as sweet cream unsalted, sweet cream salted,
cultured unsalted, cultured salted butter, or traditional sour
cream butter. For manufacturing commercial butter
“continuous buttermaking” is typically used but the traditional
small-scale on-the-farm method is the batch procedure, using
rotational or upside-down churning at the right temperature.
The continuous procedure is called the Fritz method after its
inventor. Modern continuous butter machines are capable of
producing 500–15000kg of butter per hour (Renner, 1983;
Codex Alimentarius, 2003; Mortensen, 2011).
As shown in Fig.18.1, pasteurized cream is carried over
to the churning section where phase inversion to the water-
in-oil form takes place immediately. Rotation of the beater
while churning is maintained at an optimum speed and con-
tinues until the diameter of the butter grains reaches 2–4 mm.
The churning temperature is generally controlled at around
12°C to ensure that as much fat as possible in the cream is
converted to butter. Churning is regarded as optimal when
buttermilk shows a milk fat content of not higher than 0.5%.
Buttermilk is drained away from the butter grains by a hori-
zontal and slow rotating sieve drum in the separation sec-
tion. The optimum temperature of the butter should be
maintained at 5–7°C, and this is done by recirculating
chilled buttermilk (Walstra et al., 1999; Mortensen, 2011).
As the butter grains accumulate, larger lumps form
which are subsequently transported to the working sec-
tion where butter is kneaded to expel more water and to
achieve the desired shape and texture. In the final part
of the first working section, the starter culture is mixed
with lactic acid concentrate and salt suspension is added
if the goal is to produce cultured salted butter (pH ~5.2).
With a view to reduce air content and to give a finer
texture, butter undergoes a vacuum treatment between
the two working sections. The second working section
operates ata higher speed for proper mixing of salt and
starter culture. The working sections are kept cool
(14–16°C) with circulating chilled water as this
temperature determines both the size and the composition
of the continuous fat phase. After passing through the
working sections, butter is kept in the balance tank for
at least one hour to cool down to refrigerated tempera-
ture before conveying to the packaging section. In the
continuous buttermaking process, the balance tank
serves as a buffer between churning and packaging
(Munro, 1986; Mortensen, 2011).
Cream 35% fat
Butter grains 2–4 mm
Working 14°CBoiling 90°C
Figure 18.1. Flow diagram for manufacturing butter
392 Milk and Dairy Products in Human Nutrition
Ghee is regarded as the Indian version of clarified butterfat,
mostly produced from cow milk, buffalo milk, or mixed milk
(Rajorhia, 1993; Sserunjogi et al., 1998). Its origin dates back
to prehistoric Indian civilization as far as 1500. In some
Middle Eastern countries similar kinds of products are usu-
ally made from goat, sheep, or camel milk and are commonly
known as maslee or samn. In Iran, ghee is called rogham
(Urbach & Gordon, 1994). Ghee is specified as containing a
minimum 99.6% milk fat and 0.4% free fatty acid with no
more than 0.1% moisture (Codex Alimentarius, 2006). In
India, the annual production of ghee has surpassed 800 000
tons, most of which is utilized for culinary purposes.
Ghee manufacture in India is largely based on the indig-
enous milk butter method, but the creamery butter method is
now the most efficient procedure, and the majority of dairies
today use this method. This process starts with melting the
butter at 60°C, which is eventually delivered to the steam
pressure boiler. As shown in Fig.18.1, the temperature in the
boiler is raised to 90°C and kept constant as long as mois-
ture is being released. The scum floating on top is removed
regularly using a perforated ladle. When the moisture has
been driven off, the temperature must be increased gradu-
ally. The end point is indicated when fine air bubbles appear
on the surface and curd particles start to turn brown. Typical
ghee aroma is produced at this point. Afterwards ghee is
channeled into a storage tank through a clarifier and is
cooled to 60°C (van den Berg, 1988; Abhichandani et al.,
1995; Sserunjogi et al., 1998). To protect against tampering
and allow convenient transportation, ghee is typically packed
in tin cans with capacities ranging from 20g to 15 kg. In
some cases, polymer-coated cellophane, nylon-6, polyester,
food grade PVC, or different types of laminates are used for
ghee packaging. The quality of ghee deteriorates if rancidity
develops. It has been reported that at ambient temperatures
ghee can be stored for 6–8 months; however, a longer shelf-
life up to 2 years has also been observed (van den Berg,
1988; Rajorhia, 1993; Sserunjogi etal., 1998). For maintain-
ing proper quality during storage it has been suggested that
ghee should be stored at below 20°C.
Cream is an emulsion of fat globules in milk serum. It is
separated from whole milk based on the difference in the
specific gravity of the fat globules and aqueous phase.
Depending upon fat content, there are a variety of creams
found around the world, for example coffee cream (10–15%
fat), half cream (10–12% fat), cultured cream (10–40% fat),
single cream (20% fat), whipping cream (35% fat), double
cream (45% fat), and clotted cream (55–60% fat). Among
these products, coffee cream (10–15% fat), cultured cream
(10–40% fat), and whipping cream (35% fat) are the most
prominent. Despite having a common manufacturing pro-
cedure up to cream separation from whole milk, each type
goes through a specific pathway in order to be turned into
the final products (Renner, 1983; Hoffmann, 2011).
Fat globules usually float in milk due to their lower density
(~0.9g/mL) than milk serum (~1.0g/mL). When whole milk
is transferred to the cream separator, the built-in centrifuging
system accelerates the rate of separation. Centrifugal force
causes the denser aqueous phase to move outward at a higher
velocity and is transferred to the skim milk outlet while the
fat globules gather around the axis and are channeled out to
the cream outlet. Optimum temperature in the separator is
maintained between 50 and 60°C so as to resist protein dena-
turation, maintain the viscosity level, and protect the fat glob-
ule membrane, which ensure the maximum degree of
separation. Generally, 35–45% fat in cream and 0.05% fat in
skim milk are obtained from the separation. As shown in
Fig.18.2, when the cream is separated, the fat is standardized
by addition of skim milk or cream to achieve the characteris-
tic fat content of the specific type of cream (Hoffmann, 2011).
188.8.131.52 Coffee cream
Coffee cream is one of the most widely consumed cream
products; it is mainly used as a whitening agent in coffee
making, and in addition it gives a pleasant texture and
flavor to the coffee. The fat content in coffee cream is the
lowest among the cream products, containing 10–15% fat.
This product is manufactured for a long storage period,
usually applying flow sterilization in an ultra-high
temperature (UHT) plant (Towler et al., 2003).
After separating from whole milk, the standardized
cream is transferred to high-temperature short-time pas-
teurization (90°C for 15 s) before cooling to 6°C. Cream is
then stabilized with sodium phosphate or sodium citrate
suspensions. Fat globules with a diameter of 0.2–2.0µm
after homogenization indicates long storage, higher coffee
stability, and excellent whitening effect. To ensure this
quality, single- or double-stage upstream homogenization
is carried out before flow sterilization at the UHT plant
(130°C), followed by double-stage downstream homogeni-
zation with a total pressure of 20 MPa. After cooling to
25°C, the cream is filled aseptically into glass bottles or
paper cartons with an aluminum foil wrapping (Hoffmann,
2011). In the USA there is a popular coffee cream called
“half and half” (10% fat) packaged in small plastic cartons
designed to serve one cup of coffee that does not require
refrigeration as it has been pasteurized and refrigerated or
sterilized using the UHT method.
184.108.40.206 Cultured cream
Cultured creams, also commonly known as sour creams,
have a number of applications in the food industry as
18 / Butter, Ghee, and Cream Products 393
condiments. They are used as dressings in salad, in cake
mix, biscuits, doughnuts, and cookies, and are popular as
desserts with toppings of fruit and sugar; they are also used
for making sour cream butter. Cultured creams are manu-
factured with a fat content ranging from 10 to 40%. To
achieve the desired fat content, cream is standardized.
Addition of some non-fat dry matter and stabilizers
improves the texture and prevents syneresis. As illustrated
in Fig.18.2, standardized cream is heat treated at 90–95°C
for 15 s and homogenized for better textural properties.
Souring characteristics of cultured creams are attributed to
inoculation with lactic acid bacteria. Incubation is carried
out in a large tank when the optimum condition for incuba-
tion is essentially maintained at 20–24°C for 14–24 hours.
Incubating in tank
15 s 72°C
Non-fat solids and
Figure 18.2. Flow diagram for manufacturing of coffee, whipping, and cultured creams.
394 Milk and Dairy Products in Human Nutrition
When the pH is nearly 4.5, rapid cooling to 5°C stops
microbial growth. A cultured cream is considered good
quality when it is viscous, creamy, and has a good texture
(Towler et al., 2003; Hoffmann, 2011).
220.127.116.11 Whipping cream
Whipping cream is categorized as having 30–40% milk fat
with a prolonged shelf-life. The major applications of
whipping cream include topping for coffee, ice cream, pie,
cakes, pastries, puddings, and other desserts. For manufac-
turing whipping cream, heat treatment varies widely but, in
general, a temperature of 80°C or higher is used, while in
some cases a temperature even higher than 135°C is
applied. During homogenizing, a low pressure (1.0–
3.0 MPa) is recommended for preserving the whipping
properties. Figure18.2 indicates that as the cream under-
goes heat treatment and homogenization, it needs to be
cooled down rapidly, to as low as 4°C, and after cooling the
temperature should not rise above 8°C. The chilled cream
is channeled into a ripening tank through the bottom, where
it is kept at 6°C for 24 hours. An agitator inside the ripen-
ing tank provides gentle mixing and helps crystallization
before retail containers are filled (Hoffmann, 2011).
During the whipping process, continuous and gentle agita-
tion incorporates air into the cream. As the stirring pro-
ceeds, the air bubble becomes smaller and fat globules
interact to form a stable network. There are several factors
associated with stable whipping properties, including fat
content, protein content, processing conditions, addition of
stabilizer, and emulsifier (Bruhn & Bruhn, 1988). Whipping
creams are generally supplied in small bottles, plastic cups,
or large cans, and often in aerosol cans for convenience.
Butter, ghee, and cream are also made from other spe-
cies, such as buffalo, goat, sheep, camel, yak, and reindeer,
depending on the animal source in the various countries.
Buffalo are abundant in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and
Bangladesh; goat and sheep in Mediterranean countries;
camels in Arab countries, India, Pakistan and North Africa;
reindeer in Eurasia; and yak in China, Mongolia, Nepal
and India, where milk and dairy products are also produced
from these animals (Park & Haenlein, 2006). However, the
characteristic quality of the butter, ghee, and cream made
from the different animal sources differs from the cow milk
products and this is mainly due to the fat globule size in the
milk and the position of fatty acids in the milk source.
Butter made from sheep milk is less preferred due to its
firmer structure, low iodine value, and its whiter color due
to lower carotenoids in te milk, which is unappealing.
However, butter, ghee, and cream made from buffalo is
highly preferred in India, and from sheep in Arab coun-
tries. Buffalo milk, with its higher fat percentage and larger
fat globules, can give a cream of 56% fat and 5.3% solids
not fat (SNF) compared with 50% fat and 3.1% SNF for
cow milk (Park & Haenlein, 2006). Buffalo butter is
preserved by the addition of 0.2% ascorbic acid and by
decreasing the cream pH to 6 and increasing the rate of
acid development, but not in cow butter; the addition of salt
can also inhibit lipolysis in butter prepared from ripened
buffalo cream, which can be stored up to 90 days at low
temperatures. Worldwide, cow milk dairy products are
preferred, followed by other milks (Park & Haenlein, 2006).
18.3 NUTRITIVE VALUES OF BUTTER, GHEE,
Dairy products, such as butter, ghee, and cream, have been
considered as a basic nutrient-dense food that can deliver
many energy-rich nutrients. These energy-rich nutrients
include a large variety of essential nutrients like fats,
minerals, vitamins, and amino acids, and are important to
support overall body function, along with various health
beneficial compounds, such as fatty acids, phospholipids,
and probiotics, which deliver various functional ingredi-
ents. Even though dairy products are recommended for a
healthy diet, they are often eliminated due to the presence
of saturated fat. However, each dairy product varies in
composition and is discussed in relation to their beneficial
The composition of butter from bovine milk is listed in
Table 18.1. Proximate compositions include fat 81.1%,
carbohydrate 0.1%, protein 0.9%, ash 2.1%, and water
15.9%. Fat compositions are listed in Table 18.2. Butter
has a saturated fat content around 51.4%, with saturated
fats, such as palmitic and stearic acid, which are double the
concentration of those in cream and other dairy products.
However, stearic acid is beneficial to health and lowers the
level of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) in blood. Butyric
acid is at a greater concentration in butter than other short-
chain fatty acids (SCFAs). It causes a rancid off-flavor in
Table 18.1. Proximate composition of butter,
ghee, and cream products (%) from cow milk.
Constituents Butter Ghee Cream
Fat 81.11 99 37.00
Carbohydrate 0.06 — 2.79
Protein 0.85 0.29 2.05
Ash 2.11 — 0.45
Water 15.87 0.27 57.71
Source: adapted from USDA National Nutrient Database
for Standard Reference, Release 23 (2010).
18 / Butter, Ghee, and Cream Products 395
butter, which is undesirable during storage. However,
phospholipids have many biological activities which are
essential for human health.
Amino acids, minerals, and vitamins in butter are listed
in Tables 18.3 and 18.4. Glutamic acid, leucine, and pro-
line are a little more common than other amino acids in
cream. Minerals are in lower concentrations in butter than
in cream. Major minerals, such as calcium, magnesium,
and potassium, are a little higher than other minerals. Fat-
soluble vitamins are a little higher in butter than in cream,
such as vitamin A, carotene, and vitamin K. Vitamin K has
a protective role in hepatocarcinoma.
The composition of ghee based on cow milk is listed in
Table 18.1. Proximate compositions of ghee are fat 99%,
protein 0.3%, and water 0.3%. Fat compositions are listed
in Table 18.2. Saturated fatty acids (57.5 g per 100 g) are
the major component of fat in ghee. Predominant saturated
fatty acids include palmitic, stearic, and myristic acid. The
concentrations of these fatty acids are higher than found in
butter. However, SCFAs in ghee, such as butyric, caproic,
caprylic, and capric acid, are in lower concentrations than
in butter. This give ghee a longer storage life than butter
with less rancid off-flavor. These fatty acids are potentially
beneficial for reducing body weight and body fat. Further,
these fatty acids are easily digestible and transferred
directly from the intestine to the portal circulation and are
a preferred source of energy (β-oxidation). Higher concen-
trations of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acid
are found in ghee, and these have various biological
Amino acids, minerals, and vitamins in ghee are listed in
Tables18.3 and 18.4. Total amino acid concentrations are a
little lower in ghee than in butter. Minerals are relatively
low in ghee. Fat-soluble vitamins, such as vitamin A, caro-
tene, and vitamin K, are found in similar concentrations to
those in butter. The heating process of ghee causes certain
losses in vitamins, and in particular water-soluble vitamins
are negligible in ghee (Table18.4).
The composition of cream based on bovine milk is listed
in Table 18.1. Fat content is about 37%, carbohydrate
2.8%, protein 2.1%, ash 0.5%, and water 57.7%. The
major fat compositions are listed in Table18.2. Saturated
fatty acids are about 23.0 g per 100 g, including palmitic,
stearic, myristic, and lauric acid. Palmitic acid is one of
the major saturated fatty acids; it raises serum choles-
terol while stearic acid does not (Grundy, 1994). The low
Table 18.2. Fat composition in butter, ghee, and cream products (g per 100 g) from cow milk.
Fat Common name Systematic name Butter* Ghee Cream
Saturated fatty acids 51.37 57.46 23.03
4:0 Butyric Butanoic 3.226 2.994 1.20
6:0 Caproic Hexanoic 2.007 1.769 0.710
8:0 Caprylic Octanoic 1.190 1.030 0.413
10:0 Capric Decanoic 2.529 2.313 0.928
12:0 Lauric Dodecanoic 2.587 2.596 1.039
14:0 Myristic Tetradecanoic 7.436 9.287 3.721
16:0 Palmitic Hexadecanoic 21.697 24.280 9.732
18:0 Stearic Octadecanoic 9.999 11.187 4.484
20:0 Arachidic Icosanoic 0.138 — —
Monounsaturated fatty acids 21.021 26.666 10.686
16:1 Palmitoleic cis-9-Hexadecenoic 0.961 2.066 0.829
18:1 Oleic cis-9-Octadecenoic 19.961 23.222 9.308
Polyunsaturated fatty acids 3.043 3.429 1.374
18:2 Linoleic cis,cis-9,12-Octadecadienoic 2.728 2.088 0.836
18:3 Linolenic cis,cis,cis-9,12,15-Octadecatrienoic 0.315 1.341 0.538
Cholesterol 0.215 0.300 0.137
Phospholipids 0.1–0.25 0.010 0.1–0.5
*The proportion of fat in cream is 37%.
Source: adapted from USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 23 (2010).
396 Milk and Dairy Products in Human Nutrition
concentration of butyric acid can inhibit a wide range of
human cancers, such as colorectal cancer (Parodi, 1997,
2005). However, an increasing concentration of butyric
acid is undesirable in cream because of its rancid off-
flavor. Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids
in cream show various health benefits. Oleic acid is at
relatively higher concentration than the other polyun-
saturated fatty acids, and acts as a great energy source.
Jones et al. (2008) showed that the oxidation rate of oleic
acid exceeded that of linoleic acid in healthy adult male
subjects. In contrast, some researchers investigated iso-
tope-labeled fatty acids and reported that of the 18-carbon
fatty acids, linolenic acid is the most highly oxidized,
followed by oleic acid, and then linoleic acid. Linolenic
acid also benefits humans through its various bioactive
properties, such as prevention of cancer, prevention of
hypertension, and improvement of vision. Cholesterol in
cream has a negative impact on all types of cream.
Phospholipids have low concentrations in cream.
However, these compounds exhibit several health benefi-
cial functions, including antioxidative and antitumor
properties in the human body.
Amino acids, minerals, and vitamins in cream are listed
in Tables 18.3 and 18.4. They are minor constituents in
cream, but have various health benefits. Among the amino
acids, glutamic acid, leucine, proline, aspartic acid, lysine,
and valine occur in higher quantities in cream and are
essential for various biological functions in human health.
In addition, tyrosine, histidine, and arginine are semi-
essential amino acids for children, because the metabolic
pathways that synthesize these amino acids are not fully
developed. Minerals, such as potassium, calcium, and
magnesium, are common in creams, and are essential for
bone health. Recommended daily intake of calcium is
Table 18.3. Amino acids in butter, ghee, and
cream products (g per 100g) from cow milk.
Amino acids Butter Ghee Cream*
Tryptophan†0.012 0.007 0.029
Threonine†0.038 0.015 0.093
Isoleucine†0.051 0.015 0.124
Leucine†0.083 0.022 0.201
Lysine†0.067 0.022 0.163
Methionine†0.021 0.007 0.051
Cystine 0.008 0 0.019
Phenylalanine†0.041 0.015 0.099
Tyrosine 0.041 0.015 0.099
Valine†0.057 0.015 0.137
Arginine 0.031 0.007 0.074
Histidine†0.023 0.007 0.056
Alanine 0.029 0.007 0.071
Aspartic acid 0.064 0.022 0.156
Glutamic acid 0.178 0.058 0.429
Glycine 0.018 0.007 0.043
Proline 0.082 0.022 0.199
Serine 0.046 0.015 0.111
Total 0.890 0.278 2.154
*The proportion of fat in cream is 37%.
†Essential amino acids.
Source: based on data from USDA National Nutrient
Database for Standard Reference, Release 23 (2010).
Table 18.4. Mineral and vitamin constituents in
butter, ghee, and cream products (per 100 g) from
Compound Butter* Ghee†Cream*‡
Ca (mg) 24.00 7.25 65.00
P (mg) 24.00 0 62.00
K (mg) 24.00 7.25 75.00
Na (mg) 11.00 0 38.00
Mg (mg) 2.00 0 7.00
Zn (mg) 0.09 0 0.23
Mn (mg) 0 0 0.001
Fe (mg) 0.02 0 0.03
Cu (mg) 0 0 0.006
F (µg) 2.80 – 3.00
Se (µg) 1.00 0 0.50
Vitamin A (IU) 2499 2849 1470
Carotene (µg) 193 181 72.00
Thiamin (mg) 0.005 0 0.022
Riboflavin (mg) 0.034 0.007 0.110
Pyridoxine (mg) 0.003 0 0.026
Nicotinic acid (mg) 0.042 0 0.039
Cobalamin (µg) 0.170 0 0.18
Folic acid (µg) 3.00 0 4.00
Pantothenate (mg) 0.110 0.001 0.255
Ascorbic acid (mg) 0.00 0 0.60
Vitamin D (µg) 0.90 0 1.40
Tocopherol (mg) 2.32 2.61 1.06
Vitamin K (µg) 7.00 7.98 3.20
*Based on data from USDA National Nutrient Database
for Standard Reference, Release 23 (2010).
†Based on data from http://www.indiacurry.com/npro-
‡The proportion of fat in cream is 37%.
18 / Butter, Ghee, and Cream Products 397
about 800 mg/day for an adult. However, daily intake of
calcium varies in people and in general old people require
more calcium than younger people to prevent osteoporosis.
The iron content of cream (0.03 mg per 100 g) is insuffi-
cient since the daily requirement of iron is about 10 mg/day
for men, 12 mg/day for women and 20 mg/day for children.
Recent approaches to microencapsulation of iron can over-
come iron deficiency and development of rancid off-flavor
if dairy products are fortified (Kwak et al., 2003). Vitamins,
such as vitamin A, carotene, folic acid, vitamin D, and vita-
min K, are found in cream. Vitamins A, D, E, K, and carotene
are highly lipophilic and are derived from their milk sources.
These vitamins have high nutritional value for the newborn.
Some vitamins are highly bioactive, for example vitamin A
plays an important role in morphogenesis and carotenoids
play an effective role in fertility. Water-soluble vitamins,
such as folate and vitamin B12, play an important role in
reducing the effects of Alzheimer disease in old people.
Overall, butter, ghee, and cream are fat-enriched products
which have higher content of fat and essential fatty acids,
such as linoleic acid, than of protein, carbohydrate, and min-
erals. Butter, ghee, and cream made from other milks, such as
goat, has certain nutritional advantages because of the greater
availability of medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs) and
SCFAs (Park & Haenlein, 2006). These contribute to human
nutrition in many ways: they assist digestion; they have a
hypocholesterolemic effect; and are also used therapeuti-
cally, for example for gallstones, cystic fibrosis, and coronary
bypass. Buffalo cream, butter, and ghee are predominantly
used in the Indian subcontinent, and are rich in saturated fat;
however, total cholesterol content is found to be lower in buf-
falo ghee, with increased butyrate content in buffalo ghee
(Park & Haenlein, 2006). In Russia and other Asian coun-
tries, mare milk products have been used for centuries in the
treatment of various diseases and are very beneficial to
human health. Small quantities of these dairy products are
also made from other milks, such as yak, reindeer, camel, but
the nutritional significance is yet to be studied. However,
these products are rich in saturated fats, which should be
taken in consideration before consumption.
18.4 HUMAN HEALTH BENEFIT COMPONENTS
IN BUTTER, GHEE, AND CREAM
Butter, ghee, and cream products play an important role in
supplying various health-enhancing components to the human
diet. These components are found mainly in MFGM, CLA,
and SCFAs. They aid in the prevention of various diseases,
such as osteoporosis, cancer, atherosclerosis, and other degen-
erative disorders in humans. Some components are endowed
with nutrients, such as peptides, lipids, minerals, and vita-
mins, which have bioactive properties along with beneficial
effects, and they extend the lifespan of humans. During the
manufacture of sour cream and butter, lactic acid bacteria are
added, which can generate various metabolites during the fer-
mentation process. These probiotic microorganisms exert
their beneficial properties through two mechanisms, indirectly
through supplementing metabolites and directly by providing
live cells. The sphingolipids and their metabolites have health-
enhancing functions, including antimicrobial activity on cer-
tain pathogens like Listeria monocytogenes, inhibition of
colon cancer, and regulation of the immune system. Dahi, a
fat-enriched Indian sour cream product made from milk, has
various health beneficial activities because of the rich supply
of lactic acid bacteria and their metabolites produced during
the fermentation (Vijayendra et al., 2008).
18.4.1 Milk fat globule membrane
MFGM is a highly structured membrane that surrounds the
milk fat globules and contains unique beneficial lipids and
specific proteins. The primary lipids of MFGM are polar
lipids and significant amounts of neutral lipids, such as
cholesterol, triglycerides, diglycerides and monoglycerides
(Wooding & Kemp, 1975). Isolation methods have identi-
fied the content of the MFGM neutral lipids, particularly
triglycerides (Walstra, 1974, 1985; Kwak et al., 1989).
Health attributes of MFGM mainly involve the polar lipids,
such as sphingomyelin, phosphatidyl ethanolamine, phos-
phatidyl inositol, phosphatidyl choline, phosphatidyl serine,
glucosyleramide, lactosyl ceramide and gangliosides
(Deeth, 1997; Danthine et al., 2000). In addition, some
MFGM proteins are found to have health benefits, for exam-
ple fatty acid binding protein, xanthine dehydrogenase/
oxidase (XDH/XO), butyrophilin, BRCA2, and BRCA1.
18.4.2 Health benefits of MFGM polar lipids
MFGM polar lipid fractions consist mainly of sphingolip-
ids and glycerophospholipids. Sphingolipids are functional
ingredients because of the presence of health beneficial
components, such as sphingomyelin and its metabolites
including sphingosine and ceramide (Schmelz et al., 2000).
The metabolites of sphingolipids serve as second messen-
gers that play a vital role in various cell activities, such as
regulation, proliferation, and growth (Futerman & Hannun,
2004). Some metabolites have an opposite function in the
cell: sphingosine and ceramide are antimitogenic and
inhibit cell growth (Sweeney et al., 1998) while sphingo-
sine 1-phosphate (S1P) is mitogenic. Defects in serine
palmitoyl transferase suggest that exogenous feeding of
sphingolipids is necessary for cell growth. Sphingomyelin
is sequentially hydrolyzed by various intestinal enzymes
and results in the synthesis of ceramide and sphingosine.
These metabolites are easily absorbed by the intestine.
398 Milk and Dairy Products in Human Nutrition
Small amounts of ingested metabolites are excreted in
feces (Nilsson, 1969). Some studies report that feeding rats
with sphingomyelin benefited neonatal gut maturation
during suckling (Oshida et al., 2003).
18.4.3 Sphingolipids: anticholesterol effect and
In the group of sphingolipids, sphingomyelin was found to
minimize the intestinal uptake of cholesterol and other fats
in rats (Noh & Koo, 2003). Pharmacological inhibition in
the metabolism of sphingolipids can lead to obesity and
cardiovascular diseases. The inhibitory effect was found to
be greater with milk-derived sphingomyelin than egg-
derived sphingomyelin by the direct inhibitory effect of the
sphingomyelin long-chain fatty acyl group on lipolysis in
the rumen (Noh & Koo, 2004; Spitsberg, 2005). Interaction
was favored by saturation of the sphingomyelin long-chain
fatty acyl chain (Eckhardt et al., 2002). Dietary uptake of
sphingolipids also plays an important role in lowering
plasma triacylglycerol and cholesterol (Duivenvoorden
et al., 2006). It helps in preventing cardiovascular disease,
deposition of fat in liver, and other inflammatory disease.
Sphingolipid metabolites, such as ceramide and ganglio-
side GM3, are also assumed to play a major role in the
process. However, over-uptake may also lead to the risk of
certain metabolic disorders (Parillo & Riccardi, 2004).
Lysosphingolipids present in high-density lipoprotein
(HDL) are also found to be beneficial for the heart (Podrez,
2010). It protects the heart by releasing nitric oxide (Nofer
et al., 2004). In a different study, a positive correlation was
observed between neutral and acid sphingomyelinase
activity and atherosclerosis (Pavoine & Pecker, 2009).
18.4.4 Sphingolipids and cancer
Sphingolipid levels and the enzymes involved in metabo-
lizing sphingolipids are found to be altered in cancer
(Ryland et al., 2011). Dietary intake has positive effects on
the progression of cancer; however, the mechanism is not
clear. The rapid turnover of intestinal cells is delayed in
cancer, and sphingomyelin showed benefits through cera-
mide and sphingosine by inducing cell differentiation and
apoptosis (Merrill et al., 2001). Inhibitory levels of
sphingolipids were found at both stages of colon tumori-
genesis in mice, and also in the shift from malignant to
benign in adenocarcinomas. A decrease in activity of sphin-
gomyelinase may limit the production of certain metabo-
lites that may have anticancer effects on colon cells. Even
though sphingolipids have been found to have anticancer
properties, human trials have not yet confirmed this. Some
sphingomyelin metabolites, such as ceramide, were found
to have antitumor effects, whereas sphingosine was found
to be mutagenic through its metabolites (Zhang et al.,
1990). However, some concentrations of sphingolipids had
detectable effects in mice and humans (Vesper et al., 1999).
18.4.5 Sphingolipids: bactericidal effect
Sphingolipids have been found to be protective against
certain types of bacteria, viruses, and certain toxins through
competitive inhibitory mechanisms. Among the sphingo-
lipids, glycosphingolipids act as a membrane receptor that
induces signaling and mediates infection via the membrane
(Kaida & Kusunoki, 2010). Supplementing the diet with
sphingolipids may prevent bacterial adhesion and shift the
microbial load to the colon. Supplementation of certain
sphingolipids in infant diets was found to increase the level
of pathogenic bacteria in feces (Sprong et al., 2001).
However, certain sphingolipid metabolized products, such
as ceramide, were found not to be bactericidal, whereas
lysosphingomyelin had greater bactericidal effects against
L. monocytogenes (Sprong et al., 2001).
18.4.6 Sphingolipids: effects on diabetes mellitus
and Alzheimer disease
Sphingolipid metabolites serve as promoters and inhibitors
for diabetes mellitus. Both types of diabetes mellitus occur
because of reduced β-cell mass, which ultimately leads to
decreased proliferation and increased apoptosis of liver
cells (Hui et al., 2004). It also leads to insufficient amounts
of insulin. The different metabolites of sphingolipids serve
as regulators of β-cell survival, proliferation, and function.
Oversupply of nutrients, in particular fatty acids, may
leadto metabolic disorders (Parillo & Riccardi, 2004).
Metabolites, such as ceramide, produced due to excessive
deposition of saturated fat, can inhibit the production of
insulin by inducing β-cell apoptosis (Kelpe et al., 2003;
Maedler et al., 2003). Some ceramide glycosylated deriva-
tives, such as gangliosides, have been found to be antigens
in certain autoimmune diseases (Misasi et al., 1997).
Certain glycosphingolipid derivatives have a vital role in
Alzheimer disease. The conformational change of amyloid
β-protein from coiled to the more ordered β-sheet is facili-
tated by binding gangliosides. Age-related diseases are
also associated with sphingolipids. In most tissues,
changes in the content of sphingomyelin may lead to
aging. Metabolized products, such as ceramide, act as
senescence mediators in aging cell culture models (Vesper
et al., 1999).
18.4.7 Sphingolipids and multiple sclerosis
Multiple sclerosis affects more women than men and there
are an estimated 400 000 patients in the USA (Compston &
Coles, 2008). This chronic demyelinating disease is char-
acterized by infiltrates in the central nervous system that
lead to disability. Sphingolipids and their metabolites play
18 / Butter, Ghee, and Cream Products 399
an important role in the disease (Walter & Fassbender,
2010). They act as mediators of S1P, which binds to recep-
tors of S1P1 and S1P4 on lymphocytes. The levels of
expression on lymphocytes are varied: higher amounts are
found in the lymph nodes and lower levels in the blood-
stream (Lo et al., 2005).
Phospholipids are essential fatty acids and are essential for
all living cell membranes, especially brain cells. They are
bipolar in structure, which is essential for the biological
functions of the cell membrane and provides stability. They
comprise phosphatidyl choline (lecithin), phosphatidyl ser-
ine, phosphatidyl ethanolamine, and phosphatidyl inositol.
A few recent studies have reported the health benefits of
MFGM phospholipids in lipid metabolism. Wat et al.
(2009) reported that diets rich in phospholipids from dairy
extracts reduced lipid levels in mice on a high-fat diet.
Asimilar study reported that in mice the accumulation of
cholesterol in hepatic cells was reduced after feeding them
milk rich in phospholipids, with a significant increase in
fecal cholesterol (Kamili et al., 2010). Health benefits vary
with the concentration of phospholipids; phosphatidyl ser-
ine had limited significance since the concentration is very
low in dairy products (Rombaut & Dewettinck, 2006).
Supplementation of phosphatidyl serine in exercising
humans altered endocrine function and well-being. Supple-
mentation with 200 mg/day of phosphatidyl serine showed
improvements in patients with Alzheimer disease (Heiss
etal., 1994; Hashioka et al., 2004).
Milk phospholipids play an important protective role in
the duodenal mucosa of humans (Kivinen et al., 1992).
Digested phospholipids, such as lysophosphatidyl choline,
have a greater protective role against bacteria (van
Rensburg et al., 1992). However, some lysophosphoglyc-
erides have moderate sensitivity to Gram-positive bacteria
and are not sensitive to Gram-negative bacteria (Sprong
et al., 2001). Toxic and chemical attacks are prevented by
phosphatidyl choline, which leads to less damage to the
liver (Kidd, 2002). In infants, life-threatening toxic attacks
on the gastrointestinal mucosa were prevented by phos-
phatidyl choline (Carlson et al., 1998). It also acts as a
good source of choline, which helps in the synthesis and
transport of neurotransmitters that aid in development of
the brain (Blusztajn, 1998). Furthermore, gastrointestinal
digested phospholipid compounds also exhibit antimicro-
bial activity (van Hooijdonk et al., 2000).
18.4.9 Protein fractions of MFGM
The protein fractions of MFGM occur in a 1 : 1 weight
ratio (Kanno & Kim 1990), with polypeptides in the range
10–300 kDa (Mather, 2000). Most of MFGM proteins are
glycoproteins; the major protein is butyrophilin (40%),
followed by XO (12–13%), and other minor proteins
(<5%) (Mather, 2000; Spitsberg, 2005). Some MFGM
proteins show health benefits.
18.104.22.168 Anticancer effects
Various research reports suggest that MFGM proteins have
a preventive role in cancer cell growth in humans (Spitsberg
et al., 1995; Spitsberg & Gorewit, 1997, 2002; Peterson
et al., 1998). Among MFGM proteins, fatty acid binding
protein at a very low concentration inhibits the growth of
breast cancer cell lines (Kromminga et al., 1990). In addi-
tion, BRCA1 and BRCA2 proteins are involved in the
DNArepair process (Spitsberg & Gorewit, 1998). Colon
cancer develops mainly due to the toxicity of degraded
glucuronides produced by the intestinal bacterial
enzyme β-glucuronidase. Dietary supplementation of
MFGM can prevent colon cancer with the aid of
β-glucuronidase inhibitor. In in vitro studies, MFGM
proteins inhibited Escherichia coli β-glucuronidase (Ito
etal., 1993). Spitsberg hypothesized that dietary supple-
mentation with MFGM released inhibitory peptides after
digestion in the digestive tract, which could enter the
bloodstream and exhibit inhibitory action on cells of tis-
sues or organs undergoing carcinogenic transformation
(Spitsberg et al., 1995; Spitsberg, 2005).
22.214.171.124 MFGM proteins, autism, and multiple
The causes and etiology of autism and multiple sclerosis
are unknown, but environmental and genetic conditions are
possible factors. The autistic brain has structural
abnormalities that are similar to the neurodevelopmental
disorder (Purcell et al., 2001; Vojdani et al., 2002). Some
researchers have proposed that butyrophilin can reduce the
development of autistic behavior and modulate the auto-
immune response. Multiple sclerosis is considered to be a
neurodegenerative disease that affects the central nervous
system (Lauer, 1997). Supplementation with butyrophilin
suppressed progression of encephalomyelitis, a disease
which shows similar characteristics to human multiple
sclerosis (Mana et al., 2004).
126.96.36.199 Antibacterial and antiadhesive effects of
MFGM proteins act as good antibacterial and antiadhesive
agents in the gastrointestinal tract of humans. Among the
MFGM proteins, XO accounts for about 13%, which
serves as a good antimicrobial agent by producing reactive
oxygen, hydrogen peroxide, and peroxynitrite, and by
reducing inorganic nitrite to nitric oxide (Harrison, 2006).
MFGM protein receptors can bind to pathogenic bacteria
400 Milk and Dairy Products in Human Nutrition
and thereby prevent the binding of epithelial membranes in
the digestive tract. XO can also inhibit the growth of cer-
tain bacteria, such as E. coli and Staphylococcus aureus, by
formation of hydrogen peroxide (Martin et al., 2004).
Another protein, lactophoricin, also shows inhibitory activ-
ity against Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria.
A possible mechanism is due to pore forming capacity.
Stomach diseases, such as peptic ulcer and stomach cancer,
occur because of colonization of stomach mucosa with
Helicobacter pylori, that leads to hemagglutination (Fox &
Wang, 2007). MFGM delipidated mucins show similar
inhibitory action of gastric mucins. However, the low
molecular weight protein glycomacropeptide shows less
activity than mucins.
In a study of mice, bovine milk glycoprotein signi-
ficantly reduced infection and gastric colonization by
H. pylori. Both MFGM and defatted MFGM showed
similar healing rates in H. pylori-infected BALB/cA mice
(Wang et al., 2001). The slightly different structure of
bovine MFGM protein can vary the preventive role of
infection compared with the human protein counterpart.
Human lactadherin can inhibit a rotavirus whereas MFGM
lactadherin does not. MUC1 protein also inhibits the
colonial growth of E. coli (Peterson et al., 1998).
18.5 CONJUGATED LINOLEIC ACID
After being identified as a cancer-suppressing agent, CLA
has attracted a lot of attention with regard to its functional
effects on preventing diabetes, obesity, atherosclerosis, and
many other health problems, gaining a reputation as a pan-
acea (Benjamin & Spener, 2009). CLA is group of trans-
fatty acids and represents the positional and geometric
isomers of octadecadienoic acid derived from linoleic acid.
These bioactive components are predominantly found in
milk and milk products, along with ruminant meat prod-
ucts (Steinhart et al., 2003). A high concentration of CLA
is found in milk fat: butter and ghee are particularly
renowned as the richest sources of CLA; CLA content in
ghee was found to be as high as 600mg per 100 g, while
300 mg was found in butter; the CLA content of cream has
yet to be defined (Parodi, 1994; Sserunjogi et al., 1998).
Among the large number of CLA isomers isolated from
milk fat, cis-9, trans-11 comprises approximately 90%
while less than 10% is represented by trans-10, cis-12;
health beneficial functions are associated with these two
major isomers (Bhattacharya et al., 2006). On the basis of
recent research findings, CLA has anticarcinogenic, anti-
diabetic, antiobesity, antiatherogenic, osteosynthetic, and
immunomodulatory effects. Even though these effects are
for animal models with very few human studies, there are
prospective implications in human subjects with suitable
dose and isomer.
Since Pariza’s group first determined the anticarcinogenic
effects of CLA, it has drawn remarkable attention as an
anticarcinogen (Ha et al., 1987). Later research outcomes
revealed that CLA reduced the risk of various types of can-
cers, including gastric, colorectal, and breast cancers
(Table 18.5). CLA has also been examined for chemopre-
ventive functions in inhibiting, retarding, or reversing mul-
tiple types of cancers. To establish the inhibitory effects of
CLA at different stages of cancer development, a number
of animal models have been used, but studies with human
subjects are rare (Lee & Lee, 2005). Although a mixture of
CLA isomers have been proven to suppress numerous
types of cancers, recently individual CLA isomers have
been demonstrated to have distinct effects on cancer pre-
vention (Belury, 2002; Lee & Lee, 2005; Bhattacharya
et al., 2006). Of the two physiologically important isomers,
although cis-9, trans-11 CLA predominates over trans-10,
cis-12 CLA in ruminant meat and dairy products, the latter
outperforms the other in terms of anticancer effects (Kelley
et al., 2007).
18.5.2 Colonic and colorectal cancer
Cancers of the colon and rectum are among the most com-
monly diagnosed diseases in the USA, and every year a
large number of deaths are attributable to these cancers
(Miller et al., 2008). CLA has been extensively studied as
a chemopreventive factor in cancer of the colon. Kim et al.
(2002) provided the first evidence that the trans-10, cis-12
isomer inhibits the growth of the human colon adenocarci-
noma cell line Caco-2. This report illustrated that some
insulin-like growth factors (IGFs) stimulated Caco-2 cell
proliferation and tumorigenesis, and were successfully
downregulated by the trans-10, cis-12 isomer. Several ele-
ments of IGFs play important roles in the development of
colon cancer (Singh & Rubin, 1993). A cell culture study
by Cho et al. (2003) stated that the trans-10, cis-12 isomer
decreased HT-29, a human colon cancer cell line; these
authors suggested that the reduction in HT-29 cell number
by the trans-10, cis-12 isomer may at least in part be
mediated by decreasing secretion of IGF-II. CLA can also
suppress intestinal inflammation and prevent colonic car-
cinogenesis by activating the nuclear hormone receptor
PPARγ (Evans et al., 2010).
18.5.3 Breast cancer
Cumulative evidence suggests that CLA isomers retard the
proliferation of human mammary tumor cells. Treating
breast cancer MCF-7 cells containing wild-type p53 with
CLA inhibited cell proliferation. Mechanistically, cell
cycle arrest by CLA occurred via two actions: CLA
18 / Butter, Ghee, and Cream Products 401
induced the accumulation of the tumor suppressor proteins
p53, p27, and p21, while expression factors for cell cycle
progression from G1 to S phase were suppressed by CLA
(Kemp et al., 2003). Another potential mechanism by
which CLA suppresses MCF-7 breast cancer cell
replication is a consequence of altering the lipid microen-
vironment of caveolae and expression of caveolae-resident
protein by CLA (Huot et al., 2010). Caveolae are special
types of membrane structure which are supposed to affect
many facets of cancer cell function, including growth,
cell signaling, and apoptosis. The antitumor activity of
CLA on breast cancer cells is also ascribable to its anties-
trogenic properties in the affected tissue (Tanmahasamut
18.5.4 Gastrointestinal cancer
The chemoprotective roles of CLA against gastrointesti-
nal cancer have been studied lately, demonstrating that
CLA can modulate both apoptosis and metastasis in
cancerous cells in the gastrointestinal tract. Apoptosis,
one of the important cellular events, is regarded as
programmed cell death. This consequence is desirable
for cells affected with cancer, and it has been demon-
strated that cis-9, trans-11 CLA suppresses the prolifera-
tion of SGC-7901 human gastric cancer cells by inducing
apoptosis (Liu et al., 2002). Antimetastatic functions of
CLA were brought to light when Kuniyasu et al. (2006)
reported that, besides antiproliferative effects, CLA
could decrease epidermal growth factor receptor produc-
tion and transforming growth factor (TNF)-α secretion
in MKN28 human gastric cancer cells and Colo320
human colon cancer cells. This study associated the anti-
metastatic effect of CLA with its capability to induce
The discovery of abundant quantities of CLA in milk
and dairy products and its anticarcinogenic potential has
prompted researchers from different fields to examine
extensively the anticancer effects of CLA. Besides the
types of cancers mentioned earlier, CLA has also been
demonstrated to have functional effects on skin and blad-
der cancers (Oh et al., 2003; Belury et al., 2007). Despite
the fact that CLA’s potential to be used in cancer
Table 18.5. Anticarcinogenic and antidiabetic effects of conjugated linoleic acids in butter, ghee, and
cream products for health benefits.
Isomer Function Reference
trans-10, cis-12 Inhibition of proliferation of MCF-7 breast cancer cells Kemp et al. (2003)
trans-9, cis-11 Suppression of caveolin-1 expression in MCF-7 breast
Huot et al. (2010)
trans-10, cis-12 Reduction of Caco-2 colon cancer cells and gene expression Kim et al. (2002)
cis-9, trans-11; trans-10, cis-12 Inhibition of colorectal cancer Palombo et al. (2002)
trans-10, cis-12 Inhibition of proliferation of HT-29 colon cancer cell line Cho et al. (2003)
cis-9, trans-11 Suppression of growth and proliferation of SGC-7901 in
Liu et al. (2002)
Unknown Suppression of DNA synthesis and increased apoptosis in
bladder cancer cells
Oh et al. (2003)
Unknown Suppression of colonic TNF-α mRNA expression Evans et al. (2010)
trans-10, cis-12 Improve insulin resistance
trans-10, cis-12 Improve liver carbohydrate and lipid metabolism Jourdan et al. (2009)
M*Improves glucose tolerance, increases glucose transport and
glycogen synthase activity, and upregulation of UCP-2
Ryder et al. (2001)
Unknown Increases PPARγ in adipose tissue and improves insulin
Zhou et al. (2008)
Unknown Enhances plasma adiponectin level Nagao et al. (2003)
M Maintains insulin sensitivity Parra et al. (2010)
trans-10, cis-12 Decreases blood glucose, plasma leptin, body weight, and
body mass index
Belury et al. (2002)
M* is a 50 : 50 mixture of cis-9, trans-11 and trans-10, cis-12.
18 / Butter, Ghee, and Cream Products 403
(Song et al., 2005). The same study reported that the proin-
flammatory cytokines TNF-α and interleukin (IL)-1β were
lowered by CLA, while the anti-inflammatory cytokine
IL-10 was enhanced. Very recently, one study has reported
that CLA could help in developing neonatal immunity by
enhancing antibody production (Ramirez-Santana et al.,
2011). Further extensive research is necessary before CLA
can used in functional foods as an immunity enhancer.
18.5.9 Bone health
The prospect that CLA may improve skeletal health has
been the subject of extensive research recently. It was
found that dietary CLA positively affected bone mineral
density in postmenopausal women (Brownbill et al., 2005).
The increase in bone mineral density with a reduced level
of osteoclastogenic proinflammatory cytokines in middle-
aged mice indicates that CLA contributes to protection
Table 18.6. Antiobesity and other health beneficial effects of conjugated linoleic acids in butter, ghee,
and cream products.
Isomer Functions Reference
trans-10, cis-12 Attenuates the activity of lipogenic transcription
factors and their targets
Obsen et al. (2012)
Mixture Enhances fat oxidation and energy metabolism Ohnuki et al. (2001)
trans-10, cis-12 Decreases energy intake So et al. (2009)
Unknown Upregulation of mitochondrial uncoupling proteins
trans-10, cis-12 Increases energy metabolism Nagao et al. (2003)
trans-10, cis-12 Suppresses heparin-releasable lipoprotein lipase
Lin et al. (2001)
trans-10, cis-12 Inhibits hepatic stearoyl-CoA desaturase activity Park et al. (2000)
trans-10, cis-12 Induces body fat loss and apoptosis Hargrave et al. (2002)
trans-10, cis-12 Increases fatty acid oxidation in 3T3-L1
Evans et al. (2002)
cis-9, trans-11; trans-10, cis-12 Suppress the migratory and inflammatory phenotype
of the macrophage
McClelland et al. (2010)
M Induces resolution of atherosclerosis Toomey et al. (2006)
cis-9, trans-11; trans-10, cis-12 Reduce atheromatous lesions Kritchevsky et al. (2004)
cis-9, trans-11 Reduces peroxidability index and expression of
proinflammatory IL-1β gene
Valeille et al. (2006)
cis-9, trans-11 Enhances antibody synthesis Ramirez-Santana et al. (2011)
trans-10, cis-12 Enhances IgA and IgM production Yamasaki et al. (2003)
cis-9, trans-11 Reinforces immune response Ramirez-Santana et al. (2009)
Unknown Reduces the level of IgE Sugano et al. (1998)
trans-10, cis-12 Modulates osteoclastogenesis and bone marrow
Rahman et al. (2011)
M* Decreases activity of proinflammatory cytokines Rahman et al. (2007)
trans-10, cis-12 Reduces mRNA for leptin Warren et al. (2003)
trans-10, cis-12 Increases overall ash content Park et al. (2011)
trans-10, cis-12; cis-9, trans-11 Produce the expression of antioxidant enzymes Yukiko et al. (2009)
Unknown Induces glutathione synthesis Arab et al. (2006)
M* is a 50 : 50 mixture of cis-9, trans-11 and trans-10, cis-12.
404 Milk and Dairy Products in Human Nutrition
against age-associated bone loss or osteoporosis (Rahman
et al., 2006). The antiosteoporotic function of CLA was
supported when Rahman et al. (2011) reported that the
trans-10, cis-12 isomer modulated osteoclastogenesis and
bone marrow adiposity. CLA also has been found to exert
a protective function against rheumatoid arthritis by reduc-
ing inflammatory cytokines (Hur & Park, 2007). CLA is a
promising functional ingredient to prevent age-related
bone loss by improving bone mineral density and modulat-
ing bone formation.
Nowadays, natural dietary supplements are of great
importance in the fight against most chronic diseases.
Owing to its great potential in preventing many serious
health problems, CLA has been targeted as a prospective
dietary supplement. Milk and milk products like cream,
butter, and ghee are plentiful sources of CLA. Further,
altering the feeding programs of dairy cows may result in
greater concentration of CLA in milk and dairy products,
and make the consumption of those products worthwhile in
terms of producing health beneficial effects.
18.6 SHORT- AND MEDIUM-CHAIN
SCFAs and MCFAs are produced by microbial and milk
enzymes during fermentation of cream, butter, and ghee;
this leads to the buttery flavor of these products (Kinsella,
1975). In addition to the flavor, it increases richness and
creaminess of cream and butter (Balcão & Malcata, 1998).
These fatty acids show various health benefits including
anticancer, antiobesity and antimicrobial properties.
Butryic acid found in various milk products serves as a
good source of energy for colonial cells and also acts as a
regulator of various genes that are responsible for cell dif-
ferentiation and death (Hamer et al., 2008). Some orally
ingested butyrate undergoes hydrolysis by stomach lipase
and complete hydrolysis in the small intestine, where it is
absorbed into the bloodstream and metabolized in the liver
(Parodi, 1997). Ingested milk butyrate was found to be
effective against certain tumors (Belobrajdic & McIntosh,
2000). MCFAs found in various dairy products reduce
various characteristics of metabolic diseases (Pfeuffer &
Schrezenmeir, 2007). Dietary substitution with MCFAs
also helps in weight reduction (Dulloo et al., 1996). Daily
intake of 10g of medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) aids
in weight reduction and in reduction of hip and waist fat for
individuals with body mass index of 23kg/m2 or more
(Dulloo et al., 1996). A mixture of MCT and LCT (long-
chain triglyceride) is widely used as a healthy alternative to
vegetable oils in Japan (Ogawa et al., 2007).
In addition to antitumor and antiobesity activities,
MCFAs also show antimicrobial properties against various
pathogenic microbes. Bovine whey cream free fatty acids,
such as lauric acid and myristoleic acid, are found to inhibit
the growth of Candida albicans in vitro (Clément et al.,
2007). In another study (Clément et al., 2008), MCFAs and
linoleic acid inhibited the growth of fungi like Aspergillus
fumigatus and C. albicans. Some of the milk fatty acids
were found to be antiviral and inhibited growth by cell dis-
integration and leakage (Thormar et al., 1987). A similar
mechanism was also seen in some human milk-derived
lipids, which inhibit the growth of Chlamydia trachomatis
(Lampe et al., 1998). In addition to these fatty acids, some
fatty acids obtained from the disintegration of bioactive
sphingolipids were found to inhibit the growth of
Salmonella enteritidis and Campylobacter jejuni (Sprong
et al., 2001, 2002). Among the fatty acids obtained from
the disintegration of sphingolipids, capric and lauric acids
were highly active against pathogenic microbes (Sprong
et al., 2002). In past research, a group of Indian scientists
reported that ghee from goat milk is rich in SCFAs and
MCFAs compared with long-chain fatty acids (Ramesh &
Bindal, 1987). These fatty acids are also abundant in other
species, such as sheep and mare milk products, which
show various therapeutic and nutritional properties.
Processing and storage increase the free fatty acid content
in goat milk products and heating to 65°C causes lower
lipolysis due to inactivation of lipases, whereas cold stor-
age and homogenization increase the overall waxy or goaty
flavor of the products and also increase the rancidity (Park
& Haenlein, 2006). Free fatty acids in unprocessed goat
milk is about 40 μL/mL; cold storage and homogenization
increase this to 100–120 μL/mL. Further distribution of
C12–C16 fatty acids influences the cleavage rate: C12–
C16 are mostly distributed in the sn-2 position in goat milk
as C12–C16 are uniformly in the sn-2 and sn-1 positions.
Consumption of goat and sheep milk products decreases
the level of cholesterol and LDL level in humans due to the
higher presence of MCTs (about 36% in goat milk), which
decreases the synthesis of endogenous cholesterol.
However, the amounts of free fatty acid are found to be
lower in buffalo milk and ghee. The individual benefits of
ghee fatty acids deserve further study.
18.7 NEW APPROACH ON CHOLESTEROL
REMOVAL IN BUTTER, GHEE, AND CREAM
Even though milk fat foods like butter, ghee, and cream are
nutritious, some components, such as cholesterol and its
oxidation products, have negative effects on consumers.
Cholesterol contents are about 137 mg/100 g in 37% milk
fat cream, 215 mg/100 g in butter, and 300mg/100g in
ghee. Most consumers do not want such high cholesterol in
their diet because of concerns about coronary heart dis-
ease. Therefore, reducing the cholesterol in those products
may increase their bioactive value. A unique method to
18 / Butter, Ghee, and Cream Products 405
remove over 90% of cholesterol without defect is by the
absorption method with β-cyclodextrin. This method
increases cholesterol removal to about 97.8% in regular
milk cream, about 90% in whipping cream, and about
93.2% in butter (Kwak et al., 2001; Shim et al., 2003,
2004). The addition of gamma-linolenic acid in butter
increases the product value of butter and an in vitro study
in the rat showed significantly lower blood cholesterol and
triglycerides (Jung et al., 2005). Recently, cholesterol
removal in cow and buffalo ghees was achieved to about
90% by β-cyclodextrin (Kumar et al., 2010). For cream,
further research has proved that cross-linking of
β-cyclodextrin with adipic acid helps to remove over 90%
of cholesterol until the eighth time of reuse (Han et al.,
2007). The entrapped ingredients are negligible and the
residual β-cyclodextrin was a trace amount in cream dur-
ing cholesterol removal by crosslinked β-cyclodextrin (Ha
et al., 2010). This means that in the future, butter, ghee, and
cream with the cholesterol removed will be great health
beneficial foods with no loss of beneficial components.
Butter and cream are fat-enriched products with functional
ingredients, and have proven beneficial effects. Ghee has a
long history as a healthy food and traditionally has been
used as a sacred food on the Indian subcontinent for centu-
ries. The large evidence of scientific proof indicates that
various bioactive compounds, such as MFGM, CLA,
SCFAs, and MCFAs, in butter, ghee, and cream provide
beneficial effects on various human diseases. However,
these compounds are also rich in saturated fat, which makes
consumers hesitate to consume these products. Recent
advances in the development of these products, such as low
cholesterol and low fat cream, butter, and ghee, will reduce
negative attitudes toward their consumption. In addition to
the native functional milk components in fermented butter,
ghee, and cream, some bioactive components are also
derived during fermentation which have been proven to be
health beneficial and aid longevity in all human age groups.
More research is needed on cholesterol and saturated fat
lowering in butter, ghee, and cream, and on their new bioac-
tive components to benefit human health and well-being.
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