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Understanding Butter Grades

by Jojo Frey June 08, 2014

Understanding Butter Grades

In 1989, the USDA set standards (butter grades) for butter produced and sold commercially in America. Butter can be designated as one of three different grades; U.S. Grade AA, U.S. Grade A and U.S. Grade B. Butter must contain a minimum of 80% milk fat. To be graded, butter is scored on four characteristics; flavor, body, color and salt. The grade can be found on the packaging.

Essentially, the specifications for the U.S. grades of butter are as follows:

(a) U.S. Grade AA.
Possesses a fine and highly pleasing butter flavor. May possess a slight feed and a definite cooked flavor. It is made from sweet cream of low natural acid to which a culture (starter) may or may not have been added.

The permitted total disratings in body, color, and salt characteristics are limited to one- half (½).

(b) U.S. Grade A.
Possesses a pleasing and desirable butter flavor.
May possess any of the following flavors to a slight degree: Acid, aged, bitter, coarse, flat, smothered, and storage. May possess feed flavor to a definite degree.

The permitted total disratings in body, color, and salt characteristics are limited to one-half (½), except, when the flavor classification is AA, a disrating total of one (1) is permitted.

(c) U.S. Grade B.
Possesses a fairly pleasing butter flavor.
May possess any of the following flavors to a slight degree: Malty, musty, neutralizer, scorched, utensil, weed, and whey. May possess any of the following flavors to a definite degree: Acid, aged, bitter, smothered, storage, and old cream; feed flavor to a pronounced degree.

The permitted total disratings in body, color, and salt characteristics are limited to one-half (½), except, when the flavor classification is AA, a disrating total of one and one-half (1½) is permitted and when the flavor classification is A, a disrating total on one (1) is permitted.

Source: http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/getfile?dDocName=STELDEV3004470

 

Jojo Frey
Jojo Frey


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