Margarine

Margarine
Margarine
Hydrogenation, the process used to make liquid oils solid at room temperature, made possible a shift from animal fat to vegetable fat as a substitute for butter.

The resulting product — which may be blended with other milk products or animal fats (such as lard or tallow) and salt for taste — is margarine. It has been used as a butter substitute since the late 19th century. Sometimes it is referred to as oleomargarine or oleo. Oleo means oil and refers to the vegetable oil base of margarine.

Like butter, regular margarine is about 80 percent fat (actually, law requires this percentage of fat for the product to be labeled margarine) and has the same number of calories. One tablespoon contains about 100 calories and 11 grams of fat.

Butter

Butter
Butter
Butter is made from the fat that comes from milk from cows, sheep, goats, horses, and other mammals. Most commercially produced butter in the United States is made from cow’s milk.

Butter making occurs in several stages. Cream that separates from milk is pasteurized (heated at a high temperature) to kill any organisms that might be harmful to human health. Then the cream is placed in a ripening tank for 12 to 15 hours. There, it goes through another series of heat treatments that give butter a crystalline structure when it cools, helping it to solidify.

The next step is to churn the butter. This process breaks down the fat globules in the cream. The result is that the fat is coagulated into butter grains.