4

votes

Butter vs. Ghee

Commented on January 11, 2015
Created November 13, 2010 at 11:40 AM

I'm a big fan of ghee. But I wondered if heating the butter to clarify it damages vitamin K, butyric acid or other good things that I need from it?

F00050d678de2dc749a86b4d3f2ffc0c

(321)

on November 19, 2013
at 09:07 PM

@Indya Gage I used to live in Chico and had friends who bought your product from Chico Nati and loved it! Great stuff.

1312a6121b7e742573091342575fd110

(0)

on November 19, 2013
at 08:17 PM

I realize this post is very old, but yes it matters. The fat content changes based on what an animal is fed.

Ed0cb30f40daff568778b776b2a5a81d

(943)

on January 08, 2013
at 09:51 AM

What's the butyric acid content in butter and ghee? I mean is there a big difference?

C150e1706e1299323591da93208e603f

(240)

on November 13, 2010
at 04:26 PM

Weston Price used low temperatures to make his high vitamin butter oil, saying it better preserved he vitamins (see my above answer).

E35e3d76547b18096a59c90029e7e107

(15613)

on November 13, 2010
at 03:26 PM

I'm willing to be proven wrong, but I've found nothing to suggest that either butyrate or CLA break down with the amount of heat used in ghee production (and break down into what?), which is far lower than the heating butter undergoes in normal cooking. http://www.journalofdairyscience.org/article/PIIS002203020572796X/fulltext#section21 Shows virtually no impact of heating on CLA, except microwaving (which you wouldn't use for ghee- which uses the gentlest heat possible-anyway). Butyrate is an SC-SFA, so one would expect it to be similarly stable to other SFA's though I've found no data.

4781cf8ae1bfcb558dfb056af17bea94

(4359)

on November 13, 2010
at 02:41 PM

Also, what about oxidized cholesterol?

4781cf8ae1bfcb558dfb056af17bea94

(4359)

on November 13, 2010
at 02:40 PM

You dismiss a good question with no evidence. How do you know that butyric acid and CLA are heat stable?

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4 Answers

2
C150e1706e1299323591da93208e603f

on November 13, 2010
at 02:22 PM

To quote from a comment I made on that thread (Grass Vs Hay fed butter): "According to that article, if you are using raw butter and want to preserve all its vitamins (unnecessary if all you're going to use your ghee for is frying food), you might want to keep the temperature below 150, or possibly 115 Fahrenheit (respectively 65.5 and 46.11 ??C)."

2
E35e3d76547b18096a59c90029e7e107

(15613)

on November 13, 2010
at 01:41 PM

I shouldn't worry about nutrient loss. There are few micronutrients in butter anyway and those that there are are fat-soluble anyway and so you aren't losing anything in the removal of the milk solids.

Nor should the heating be a worry. For one thing, ghee is necessarily produced over a low heat, otherwise you'd burn the butter. In any cooking use of the butter, you'll be heating it far more. I don't know whether vitamin K is particularly heat sensitive, but Chris Masterjohn in his epic vitamin K2 article says:

I have yet to see any hard data on cooking losses, but everything I have read indicates that vitamin K is very heat-stable (though it can apparently incur losses from exposure to light).

As to the butyric acid or conjugated linoleic acid, both of these are fats, which can't be destroyed just by heating.

Ed0d9172b5e79530b30a610798ccff4b

on January 11, 2015
at 08:48 PM

The vitamin K content of 1/4 pound of butter is only 7 micrograms = 8% of your RDA.

That's a whole stick of butter! A tablespoon only contains 1% of your RDA of Vitamin K, making Vitamin K a non-issue when considering the micronutrients lost when heating butter.

One Brussel sprout contains 37% of the RDA of Vitamin K, to put this in perspective. Also, remember that gut bacteria in the colon produce Vitamin K2, making Vitamin K deficieny in humans practically unheard of (except in infants). 

Re: CLA and heat stability, a scientific study published in Meat Sciences (Meat Science 84 (2010) 769–777) stated that "[...] conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) isomers revealed a great stability to thermal processes."

Re: Butyric acid - as an organic chemist, I can state unequivocally that butyric acid is stable unless heated to the point of actual ignition. This is true of all SFAs.

 

E35e3d76547b18096a59c90029e7e107

(15613)

on January 11, 2015
at 09:03 PM

To be fair, Milton_Bosch_GP, most people who eat butter for vitamin K are concerned specifically to get some K2-MK4, not the non-equivalent K1, or K2-MK7, so it's not really germane that you can get more K1 from vegetables.

4781cf8ae1bfcb558dfb056af17bea94

(4359)

on November 13, 2010
at 02:40 PM

You dismiss a good question with no evidence. How do you know that butyric acid and CLA are heat stable?

E35e3d76547b18096a59c90029e7e107

(15613)

on November 13, 2010
at 03:26 PM

I'm willing to be proven wrong, but I've found nothing to suggest that either butyrate or CLA break down with the amount of heat used in ghee production (and break down into what?), which is far lower than the heating butter undergoes in normal cooking. http://www.journalofdairyscience.org/article/PIIS002203020572796X/fulltext#section21 Shows virtually no impact of heating on CLA, except microwaving (which you wouldn't use for ghee- which uses the gentlest heat possible-anyway). Butyrate is an SC-SFA, so one would expect it to be similarly stable to other SFA's though I've found no data.

C150e1706e1299323591da93208e603f

(240)

on November 13, 2010
at 04:26 PM

Weston Price used low temperatures to make his high vitamin butter oil, saying it better preserved he vitamins (see my above answer).

4781cf8ae1bfcb558dfb056af17bea94

(4359)

on November 13, 2010
at 02:41 PM

Also, what about oxidized cholesterol?

1
37785319aa7f7cbfeb14284a46f91fd6

on January 08, 2013
at 07:15 AM

I am a ghee maker in Northern California. Using too much heat to clarify the butter is very destructive to the outcome. Ghee should be kept at a low temperature (under 118 degrees), which is very difficult and time consuming, so many ghee companies do not do that. In fact, many sources explain that you should bring the butter to a boil. That not only damages antioxidants, enzymes begin to unfold at 119 degrees.

Since we are beginning to treat Alzheimer and dementia patients with ghee, even here in the West, because of the butyric acid in ghee which feeds nerve and brain tissue, and reverses the damaging affects of the disease, I do not believe that it is destroyed through the heating process. I intentionally keep my temperature extremely low while clarifying my organic ,grass fed, cultured butter because it is healthier and much better tasting. It also allows for a grainy texture, which is more valued medicinally. The low temp keeps the flavor in tact as well as the healing enzymes in the cultures. I then age the ghee for a minimum of a month - which further enhances the healing properties and the flavor.

Charaka Sambhita in an ancient text said: "Ten-year aged ghee is the miracle cure for any ailment". That is where I got the idea to age it (75 degrees constant). I don't know of anyone else aging ghee before it is sold. You can find me online.

Much love and happy ghee eating. ~Mama Sattva mamasattva.com

Ed0cb30f40daff568778b776b2a5a81d

(943)

on January 08, 2013
at 09:51 AM

What's the butyric acid content in butter and ghee? I mean is there a big difference?

F00050d678de2dc749a86b4d3f2ffc0c

(321)

on November 19, 2013
at 09:07 PM

@Indya Gage I used to live in Chico and had friends who bought your product from Chico Nati and loved it! Great stuff.

0
Ac9425a387b78cb37a01972fe848bddb

(655)

on November 22, 2010
at 05:54 PM

Does it matter if the cows were grain fed because I live in Panama where cows are grass-fed but my friend brought me ghee from th US.

1312a6121b7e742573091342575fd110

(0)

on November 19, 2013
at 08:17 PM

I realize this post is very old, but yes it matters. The fat content changes based on what an animal is fed.

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