, Volume 87, Issue 1, pp 75-82
Date: 10 Sep 2009

The Effect of Phospholipids on Butter Physical and Sensory Properties

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The addition of phospholipids (PL), either in the form of the milk fat globule membrane (MFGM) or soy lecithin, had a significant influence on butterfat crystal morphology. At low concentrations, PL addition increased spherulite size, but as PL levels reached 2 wt%, spherulite formation was inhibited and the microstructure consisted of well dispersed individual crystals. This change in crystal structure made the butter harder, less grainy at low temperatures, and less prone to oiling-off above room temperature. PL addition was also shown to affect the relative concentrations of the various species created during crystallization. Of the two 2L β′ species that form at crystallization onset, the presence of PL shifted the balance towards the first species at the expense of the second. PL also facilitated the polymorphic transition of the 3L α species to a 2L β′ structure. It is unclear, however, whether the inhibition of spherulite formation was due directly to the inhibition of secondary nucleation by PL at the crystal surface, or indirectly by the reduction of supercooling resulting from a more rapid polymorphic transition. Evidently, PL concentration must be properly controlled during manufacturing in order to optimize butter functional properties.