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.


Download data is not yet available.


Buldo P, Larsen MK, Wiking L. 2013. Multivariate data analysis for finding the relevant fatty acids contributing to the melting fractions of cream. J. Sci. Food Agric. 93, 1620–1625. PMid:23136137

Capuano E, Gravink R, Boerrigter-Eenling R, van Ruth SM. 2015. Fatty acid and triglycerides profiling of retail organic, conventional and pasture milk: Implications for health and authenticity. Int. Dairy J. 42, 58–63.

Christie WW, Han X. 2012. Lipid Analysis. Oily Press Lipid Library Series, Woodhead Publishing.

Couvreur S, Hurtaud C, Lopez C, Delaby L, Peyraud JL. 2006. The linear relationship between the proportion of fresh grass in the cow diet, milk fatty acid composition, and butter properties. J. Dairy Sci. 89, 1956–1969.

Cullinane N, Aherne S, Connolly JF, Phelan JA. 1984.Seasonal variation in the triglyceride and fatty acid composition of Irish butter. Irish J. Food Sci. Technol. 8, 1–12.

Glaeser H. 2002. Determination of the milk fat content of fat mixtures. Grasas Aceites 53, 357–358.

Derewiaka D, Sosi?ska E, Obiedzi?ski M, Krogulec A, Czaplicki S. 2011. Determination of the adulteration of butter. Eur. J. Lipid Sci. Tech. 113, 1005–1011.

EC REGULATION No. 273/2008 of 5 March 2008 laying down detailed rules for the application of Council Regulation (EC) No. 1255/1999 as regards methods for the analysis and quality evaluation of milk and milk products.

Heussen PCM, Janssen H-G, Samwel IBM, van Duynhoven JPM. 2007. The use of multivariate modelling of near infra-red spectra to predict the butter fat content of spreads. Anal. Chim. Acta 595, 176–181. PMid:17605998

Hurtaud C, Delaby L, Peyraud JL. 2002. Evolution of milk composition and butter properties during the transition between winter-feeding and pasture. Grassl. Sci. Eur. 7, 574–575.

Hurtaud C, Faucon F, Couvreur S, Peyrault JL. 2010. Linear relationship between increasing amounts of extruded linseed in dairy cow diet and milk fatty acid composition and butter properties. J. Dairy Sci. 93, 1429–1443. PMid:20338420

Larsen K, Andersen KK, Kaufmann N, Wiking L. 2014. Seasonal variation in the composition and melting behavior of milk fat. J. Dairy Sci. 97, 4703–4712. PMid:24856988

Molkentin J, Precht D. 1987. Representative determination of the butyric acid content in European milk fats. Milchwissenschaft 52, 82–85.

Moore JC, Spink J, Lipp M. 2012. Development and application of a database of food ingredient fraud and economically motivated adulteration from 1980 to 2010. J. Food Sci. 77, 118–126. PMid:22486545

Nogala-Ka?ucka M, Pikul J, Siger A. 2008. Applying liquid chromatography (HPLC) to study the genuineness of butter. Zywn.-Nauk. Technol. Ja 58, 47–56.

Ortíz-González G, Jiménez-Flores R, Bremmer DR, Clark JH, De Peters EJ, Schmidt SJ, Drackley JK. 2007. Functional properties of butter oil made from bovine milk with experimentally altered fat composition. J. Dairy Sci. 90, 5018–5031. PMid:17954741

Palmquist DL, Beaulieu AD, Barbano DM. 1993. Feed and animal factors influencing milk fat composition. J. Dairy Sci. 76, 1753–1771.

Schroeder GF, Delahoy JE, Vidaurreta I, Bargo F, Gagliostro GA, Muller LD. 2003. Milk fatty acid composition of cows fed a total mixed ration or pasture plus concentrate replacing corn with fat. J. Dairy Sci. 86, 3237–3248.

Shi Y, Smith CM, Hartel RWJ. 2001. Compositional Effects on Milk Fat Crystallization. Dairy Sci. 84, 2392–2401.

Sbihi HM, Nehdi IA, Tan CP, Al-Resayes SI. 2015. Characteristics and fatty acid composition of milk fat from Saudi Aradi goat. Grasas Aceites 66, e101.

Tan CP, Che Man YB. 2002. Comparative differential scanning calorimetric analysis of vegetable oils: I. Effects of heating rate variation. Phytochem. Anal. 13, 129–141. PMid:12099103

Tomaszewska-Gras J. 2013. Melting and crystallization DSC profiles of milk fat depending on selected factors. J. Therm. Anal. Calorim. 113, 199–208.

Tomaszewska-Gras J. 2016a. Rapid quantitative determination of butter adulteration with palm oil using the DSC technique. Food Control. 60, 629–635.

Tomaszewska-Gras J. 2016b. DSC coupled with PCA analysis as a tool for butter authenticity assessment. J. Therm. Anal. Calorim. 126, 61–68.



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. Grasas aceites [Internet]. 2016Dec.30 [cited 2024Feb.23];67(4):e167. Available from: