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Ghee : Its Properties, Importance and Health Benefits
Ghee is a type of clarified butter fat that has been produced and utilized in India from antiquity. It is used in Ayurveda as a therapeutic agent and also for religious rituals. It is popular in India because of its nutritional attributes and characteristic flavor and aroma and is considered as sacred food. It is made from milk, cream, or butter of several animal species. Ghee processing may be achieved by drawing fat from milk, cream or butter using direct heat with or without fermentation. Ghee is unique type of fat by its characteristic flavor which is basic criterion for its acceptance and is greatly influenced by the processing methods i.e. fermentation of cream, butter or milk and even heating processes. It is fairly shelf stable because of low moisture content as well as possible natural antioxidants contents. As a human food, ghee has been accepted universally as superior fat to other fats, mainly because of its characteristic short chain fatty acids content, which are responsible for its better digestibility and anti-cancer properties. Ghee is also an important carrier of fat soluble vitamins (A, D, E, K) and essential fatty-acids (linolenic acid and arachidonic acid), apart from having rich and pleasant sensory properties. Ghee is believed to be a coolant, capable of increasing mental power, physical appearance, curative of ulcers and eye diseases.