Multivariate analysis of seasonal variation in the composition and thermal properties of butterfat with an emphasis on authenticity assessment


  • J. Tomaszewska-Gras Faculty of Food Science and Nutrition, Poznań University of Life Sciences



Butter, DSC, Fatty acids, Melting properties, PCA, Triacylglycerols


The aim of this study was to analyze the seasonal variation in the composition and thermal properties of butterfat (BF) in order to evaluate the applicability of differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) for the authenticity assessment of butter. The composition of fatty acids (FA) and triacylglycerols (TAG) and the thermal properties of genuine BF purchased in the summer and in the winter from six producers were determined. Principal component analysis (PCA) was used to recognize variation and as a result, all BF samples were classified into two groups: one composed of mixed samples from the summer and winter and the other comprising only summer BF samples. DSC and GC analysis revealed that the group of only summer BF samples was characterized by lower melting temperatures and peak heights of low- and medium melting fractions and the highest proportions of unsaturated FAs (ΣC18:1, ΣC18:2, ΣC18:3). The results indicated that most of the variation in the composition and thermal properties was affected by summer BF samples, which may result from the alternative animal feeding systems employed in the summer season, i.e., pasture vs. indoor. Therefore, seasonal variation should be taken into consideration during the elaboration of the analytical method of authenticity assessment.


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How to Cite

Tomaszewska-Gras J. Multivariate analysis of seasonal variation in the composition and thermal properties of butterfat with an emphasis on authenticity assessment. grasasaceites [Internet]. 2016Dec.30 [cited 2023Feb.4];67(4):e167. Available from: