Can You Have Butter If You Are Lactose Intolerant?

Can You Have Butter If You Are Lactose Intolerant?

Butter is the fat product obtained exclusively from sanitized cow’s milk or cream. With the shaking cream a reversal of phases is achieved, changing from the original emulsion “fat in water” to that of “water in fat”. At the end of the operation, two phases are obtained:

Fat Phase: in the form of grains (butter).

Aqueous Phase: whey or buttermilk.

The butter is thus a water-in-fat emulsion obtained by mechanical processes from acidified or not (sweet) cream, causing the acidification by addition of lactic ferments and/or organic acids.

Can You Have Butter If You Are Lactose Intolerant?

Types of Butter

The different varieties of butter are differentiated mainly by their fat content and by the manufacturing process. What is really known as butter must have a content of milk fat equal to or greater than 80% and less than 90% and maximum water content of 16%, and dry non-fat milk of 2%.

There Are Also Other Varieties In Which It Needs To Be Specified Their Fat Content:

Three-Quarter Butter: Milk fat content minimum 60% and maximum 62%.

Light Butter: Milk fat content minimum of 39% and maximum of 41%.

When the fat content is less than 50%, we talk of products with reduced energy content to spread. To these varieties dyes, stabilizers, etc. can be added. There are also butter preparations like the herbal butter or anchovy butter.

Depending On The Addition Or Not Of Salt, We Can Classify The Butter Into:

  • Sweet butter (without adding salt)
  • Salty butter (which is added a maximum of 5% sodium chloride)
  • Depending on the sowing or not with lactic ferments, it differs between:
  • Acidified butter: ferments are added during its manufacture.
  • Non-acidified butter (or sweet): without adding ferments.

Processing of Butter

For the manufacture of butter, the starting point is standardized cream. This cream is subjected to a pasteurization heat treatment at 92 ° C, leaving the pasteurizer at a temperature of 4-6 ° C.

The pasteurized and cooled cream passes to the maturing tank where it will remain for about 12 hours at a temperature of 4ºC. The object of maturation is for the fat to acquire a crystalline structure for its subsequent transformation into butter. Being a low temperature, the bacterial development is slowed down during the time that the cream is in the ripener.

Once the ripening period has elapsed, and by means of a pump, the cream is sent to a plate heat exchanger where it is heated to about 10 ºC, the optimum temperature for the transformation of the cream into butter in the churn.

In The Production Of Butter In The Churn, Two Phases Are Differentiated:

  1. Smoothie
  2. Kneading

The cream enters the churn in the area where the shake is made. This shake zone is provided with hitting paddles driven by a motor. This result in the conversion of the cream into butter and buttermilk grains, that is, the transformation of the oil-in-water emulsion into a water-in-oil emulsion is achieved.

The buttermilk is removed from the churn making it pass through a sieve, and then the butter goes to the kneading area. Injecting ferments and salting are carried out in this kneading area, if applicable.

The ferments are added with the aim of enhancing the flavor and aroma of the product. The addition can be made in the ripening tank or in the churn.

Finally, the butter is taken to the dosing chamber and, by means of a plunger, it is introduced into the packaging mold. Later it is fitted and palletized.

Easy to spread butter is characterized by better spreadability than traditional butter. This property is due to a specific technological process based on the separation of lower melting point fats by a crystallization process.


Lactose is diluted in the liquid part. The processes of making some dairy products make the lactose disappear from the product. Butter is made from the milk fat, easily separable from the rest, therefore practically does not contain lactose (around 0.1 grams per 100 of product). So, lactose intolerant people can consume it.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:December 14, 2018

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