|Strategies for market orientation of small scale milk producers and their organisations. Proceedings of a worshop held at Mogororo Hotel, Mogororo, Tanzania, 20-24 March 1995. (1995)|
|Session 4: Milk processing requirements|
|Milk processing requirements for satisfying the demand for various dairy products in Tanzania|
Ghee, which is also known as butter oil or dry butter fat, consists of fat which is almost completely free from water, protein, milk sugar and mineral substances (McDowell, 1953). Most smallholder dairy farmers make ghee from butter. Butter is melted in a saucepan usually made of clay or stainless cooking pan, "sufuria", heated over a slow fire until all the moisture .has evaporated. It is then left to cool and is packed in normal bottles. The Maasai keep it in the gourds just at room temperature.
Normally during slow heating of butter, as the temperature rises, a foam forms which tends to rise and overflow, and a lot of wastage occurs. It also needs a lot of stirring as the liquid heats or else burning at the bottom of the vessel occurs and the product acuires a burnt flavour and the colour changes.
Therefore, it is good to remember that the vessel should be big enough i.e. double the volume of the butter to be processed. To avoid a burnt flavour, a thermometer (which small scale dairies can afford) may be used so that the butter boils up to 125-130"C only; above that ghee will burn. O'Mahony (1987) suggested that in order to get a good yield of butter oil the butter should be melted in an equal volume of water at 60°C followed by centrifugal separation. The product is free from non-fat milk solids and contains no more than 1.5% moisture. According to Madam Pal and Royorhia (1975), quoted by O'Mahony (1987) the residual moisture can be removed by further heating in butter oil manufacture.
Ghee can keep for 1 - 3 years (Bekele and Kasaye, 1987) at room temperature because the heat treatment, low moisture content and salt addition in ghee prevents development of hydrolytic rancidity and growth of micro-organisms and has a preservative effet (O'Mahony 1987). Oxidative rancidity will occur but can be minimised by packing ghee in opaque, air tight containers (McDowell, 1953) such as coloured orange juice or wine bottles with tight fitting lids and stored in a cool place or just in a dark corner of the house or cupboard where light cannot go through (personal experience at Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA), Morogoro, Tanzania).