Whey butter is a by-product while making cheese. It is produced when the cream is separated from the whey. Unlike ordinary butter, it is produced using fresh milk, and the butterfat in whey butter undergoes the initial process of cheese making. Making whey butter is a time-consuming process, and now there are rare whey butter producers. Also, intensive labor and specific skills are required to make whey butter.
It takes a hands-on approach to cheese and butter production. The butter you get from the grocery stores or dairy stores uses fresh milk, industrial production methods, and favors imported from foreign countries. The whey butter you get from the stores is salted and unsalted forms. The term farmhouse butter means 100% whey butter.
History of Whey Butter
Whey butter has roots in South West and North West England, particularly the Somerset, Lancashire, and Devon counties. People in the past used it to wrap the Lancashire cheeses for greasing them before they were packed. Whey butter still has immense importance within Lancashire folk tradition. It was known as the best butter.
Whey Butter Nutrition Facts
Per 100g (3.5oz) whey butter contains the following nutrition:
Whey Butter vs. Regular Butter
Regular butter is a dairy product made from protein and fat components of cream or milk. When processed, it is a semi-solid emulsion at room temperature. Cow’s milk is used for the manufacturing of regular butter. Churning milk or cream separates the fat globules from the buttermilk. Food colorings and salt are added to make different types of butter.
Later on, the water and milk solids are removed, and clarified butter is made. It is a water-in-oil emulsion that results from an inversion of the cream.
Types of Butter
1. Cultured Butter
There are different types of butter. The main type is cultured butter. Cultured butter is defined as butter made from fermented cream. The cream sours naturally as bacteria during fermentation because it converts milk sugars into lactic acid. Additionally, aroma compounds are produced known as diacetyl. It gives the butter a buttery flavor.
2. Sweet Cream Butter
During production, some dairy products are pasteurized. Pasteurizing kills microbes and pathogenic bacteria. Butter made from pasteurized fresh cream is known as sweet cream butter. Sweet cream butter became common in the 19th century when the development of mechanical cream separators and refrigeration took place. Raw cream butter is made from cultured unpasteurized and fresh cream.
The sweet cream butter is made from pasteurized cream that can have a shelf life of several months but on the other hand, raw cream butter has a shelf life of ten days only.
3. Clarified Butter
Butter made from water and milk solids removed from the pure butterfat is known as clarified butter. You need to heat the butter to its melting point and then let it cool to make clarified butter. Now separate the remaining components depending on the density. The top layer will have whey proteins. When the whey proteins are removed, a mixture of casein proteins and water settle at the bottom.
4. Whey Butter
While making whey butter, the cream may be separated from the whey instead of milk. It is a by-product of cheese-making. Whey cream can also be used for making whey butter. Whey cream and whey butter have a lower fat content, and they taste cheesy, tangy, and salty. Whey butter is less shiny than regular butter. It is oilier and deeper yellow.
Whey Butter Benefits or Concerns
People who have a milk allergy should avoid any kind of butter. For those who do not have any kind of milk or butter allergy, it would be best for them because of the whey proteins in the whey butter.
One of the leading causes of death in modern society is heart disease. A high intake of saturated fats increases the LDL levels that are bad cholesterol in your blood. It increases the risk of heart disease. Also, there are findings that small, dense LDL particles raise the risk of heart disease. People with heart disease should avoid any kind of dairy products.
Grass-Fed vs. Grain-Fed
The nutritional quality depends on the feed of the dairy cows. Grass-fed butter is made from the cows’ milk that grazes on fresh grass or pasture. On the other hand, grain-fed butter is made from the cows’ milk that grazes on grain-based feeds or conserved grass. Grass-fed butter has a higher nutrition value than grain-fed butter.
There is a high content of fat-soluble antioxidants and vitamins in grass-fed whey butter. It is healthier than grain-fed whey butter.
Blood Sugar Levels
Whey butter can help reduce the spikes or regulate the blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes.
Other Health Benefits
There are some unsupported health claims about using whey butter. They can be healthy for people who are not having dairy allergies.
- Increases the satiety that leads to the reduction in energy intake.
- It maintains and grows muscle mass.
- It reduces the body fat mass while energy restriction and resistance training.
- It helps to increase the lean body mass while energy restriction and resistance training.
- It increases muscle strength.
- It helps in skeletal muscle tissue repair.
- It increases the endurance capacity.
- If you are looking for options to maintain or achieve normal body weight.
Uses of Whey Butter
Whey butter comes from the whey and is a by-product of cheese making. The fat content in the whey butter is low. 1,000 pounds of whey are required in the making of whey butter. It is used as an additive in processed foods such as crackers, bread, animal feed, and commercial pastry. Whey proteins or butter have α-lactalbumin and β-lactoglobulin.
Whey butter can also contain glycomacropeptides (GMP), depending on the process of making whey butter. If you have whey butter at home, you can use it as a flour conditioner, or you can use it as a substitute for skim milk in making baking recipes. You can use it for making pancakes, muffins, and bread.
In earlier times, whey, a by-product of cheese making, was considered a waste product. It was pumped into rivers and streams. With time, it grew large concentrations of algae because of proteins. It became a hazard, and the government banned the wasting of whey in the rivers and streams. Later on, it was found that it could be used as a cheap filler in ice cream production.
With time, whey found its way in different healthy foods, from whey butter to whey proteins. Whey proteins are dietary supplements with a lot of health benefits. It is sold as a nutritional supplement. Many athletes and bodybuilders use it because it helps them to obtain the necessary number of proteins per day.
Uses of Whey
Whey is the sour liquid left after you strain the yogurt or cultured cheese from milk. If you have some of this protein-rich liquid left, then fret no more. Here are some methods in which you can utilize the leftover whey:
- You can easily use whey in baking recipes that require water or milk, such as fresh loaves of bread, pancakes, waffles, cornbread, biscuits, tortillas, and muffins. It gives an eccentric sour touch to the baked goods.
- You can soak whole grains or legumes in leftover whey. You can do this by adding about a tablespoon or two to the soaking water before you leave it to soak overnight. Whey substantially reduces levels of phytic acid in whole grains and legumes, thus, making them more digestible.
- Adding whey to fresh vegetables by soaking them in whey water helps speed up the Lacto-fermentation process. Using this method, you will have to use less salt in the veggies.
- Fermented soda recipes, such as Cultured Ginger Beer, can also utilize whey.
- Using cultured or uncultured whey to cook pasta, oatmeal, rice, or potatoes also helps make them more digestible.
- You can make use of whey in your garden by spraying it on acid-loving plants or leaves. It helps in combating powdery mildew.
- Leftover whey helps make the best conventional ricotta cheese.
- Add whey to the dry animal feeds to moisten them a little bit.
- Make cream of tartar whey by bringing a pint of skim milk to boil and adding two teaspoons of cream of tartar in it. You have to take it off the heat after adding cream of tartar and leave it to rest until the curd settles to the bottom. Now drain the milk when it cools down, and you are left with deliciously sour cream of tartar whey.
- One of the top uses of whey is the production of whey powder protein. It is a highly sought-after protein supplement used by athletes and bodybuilders.
Whey Butter – A Healthy By-Product of Cheese Making
Instead of using sweet cream butter or any ordinary butter, whey butter is better. It contains a healthy nutrition protein that helps you build stamina, increase muscle strength and mass, etc. Butters are not considered healthy because of the large fat content in them, but you can use whey butter with a small amount of fat. It is healthier and cheaper!