Manufacturing ghee involves a step-by-step process that can vary depending on the method used. While the direct cream method uses cream to generate ghee, the traditional method entails cooking butter to remove the milk particles. Both processes involve simmering, skimming, and filtering to produce the clarified butter that is sought, which has a rich, nutty flavour and is used in a variety of dishes.
Regarding milk and dairy products, India is the world's largest producer and consumer. The ghee manufacturing process is complex, whether a traditional small-scale or an advanced industrial process.
The traditional method is the Ayurvedic process of making quality ghee in small amounts. The dairy industry uses various ways to produce ghee. The development of modern dairy plants and the growth of the organised dairy industry have led to a shift in research into newer forms of ghee manufacturing. These forms are more profitable than the conventional Desi method.
This article explains the five most reliable methods of producing ghee.
Did You Know? India produces 3,797,550 tons of ghee, making it the world's top producer. In second place, the United States makes less than half that amount each year, followed by Pakistan.
Ghee can be manufactured using traditional or advanced methods. However, traditional methods often serve to make homemade ghee. In commercial dairy factories, ghee is generally produced without going through the process of making milk into butter.
Listed below are five methods of ghee making process.
1. Traditional Method
2. Direct Cream Method
3. Creamery Butter Method
4. Prestratification Method
5. Continuous Method
1. Traditional Method
This method produces ghee in five steps, known as the Vedic manufacturing process. The process starts with procuring raw materials (milk) and ends with manufacturing the final product, ghee and clarified butter.
Traditionally, these five steps are essential to making ghee because they are the key to making the highest quality.
This Ayurvedic ghee manufacturing method includes five stages, each called Zanskar.
Step 1: Procurement and Boiling
For traditional ghee manufacturing, procurement is crucial. Farming and cows' diets greatly influence the quality of raw material, milk butter.
Milk from grass-fed cows is always better than milk from grain-fed cows. Traditionally, a litre of cow's ghee requires approximately 25-30 litres of cow's milk.
As per Ayurveda, grass-fed cow's milk is the most suitable raw material for making high-quality ghee.
You should thoroughly boil the milk. This long boiling process has two benefits. While boiling dairy farm milk, it undergoes a thorough disinfection process. Second, manufacturers make its texture more concentrated by boiling cow's milk.
Step 2: Curdling
Convert boiled milk into curd during ghee manufacturing. Traditional methods involve adding one tablespoon of curd to the milk.
You can also add a natural sour ingredient such as lemon juice to the milk instead of curd. Overnight, milk is converted to curd in a covered pot.
Following the curd preparation, the churning process takes place.
Bilonas are wooden churners used for churning curd. Curd churning is typically done clockwise and anticlockwise, depending on the direction of the bologna.
The process of churning is usually time-consuming. Buttermilk and butter get separated from curd, creating the raw ingredients for ghee.
Step-4: Separating Butter from Buttermilk
During the ghee manufacturing process, buttermilk and butter get separated at the end of churning. You have to use this butter to make ghee.
Ghee butter is another name for the butter. Lactose and casein may still be present in this ghee butter since it is not free from the milky part.
The heating process of cooking produces lactose-free clarified butter and ghee.
This step involves heating butter over a medium-high flame in a heavy-bottomed stainless-steel pot. The manufacturer offers more time to boil the ghee butter once it begins to boil so that it evaporates the water completely.
The ghee is almost ready when you spot visible solid layers at the bottom of the pan during the boiling process. As the butter turns yellow-gold, you can smell the nutty aroma and nutty aroma of pure cow ghee.
A strainer filters the golden liquid ghee before storing it in jars. Keeping pure ghee away from sunlight, heat, and moisture is crucial.
2. Direct Cream Method
A commercial ghee production method is the direct cream method.
Here are the steps involved in processing:
Step-1: Boiling Cream
This method involves boiling milk cream in a kettle. These kettles are made of steel and come with steam-heated jackets.
A portable stainless steel tube with a central boring drains the contents, and they are equipped with an agitator, a steam regulator valve, and pressure and temperature gauges.
Step-3: Formation of Ghee
Manufacturers turn off the heat when ghee residue turns light brown or golden yellow, and froth appears on the surface.
However, commercial ghee production has some drawbacks.
- Firstly, cooking takes a long time.
- As a result of the solid serum being present in the cream, the ghee may have a caramelised flavour.
- Small dairies use a technologically advanced method of centrifuging milk cream to make ghee.
3. Creamery-Butter Method
This method uses unsalted creamery butter, cooking butter, or white butter. Below is a description of how the creamery butter method produces ghee.
Melt the butter mass at 60°C first. Fill the ghee boiler with melted butter. Increasing the steam pressure gradually raises the temperature to 90°C.
This temperature remains constant as long as moisture is removed. It is regularly cleaned to remove scum from the product's surface.
A gradual temperature rise is followed by precise control of the final heating stage.
A browning of curd particles, the disappearance of effervescence, and the appearance of fine air bubbles indicate that the process has ended. During this stage, Ghee produces its characteristic aroma.
A temperature of less than 115°C is set for the final clarification step.
An oil filter or clarifier cools the ghee by circulating water at 60°C before pumping it into an additional tank. In the next step, the ghee is packaged in the appropriate containers.
It lasts several months if you store it in a cool, dry place.
4. Pre-stratification Method
From aged cream containing 38 to 40% fat, butter is made using a continuous butter-making machine or batch churn.
A butter melter is then used to melt butter at 80°C. In a boiler or ghee kettle at 80-85°C, keep the molten butter undisturbed for 30 minutes.
The ghee kettle stratifies the mass into three distinct layers as it cools. Impurities and denatured protein particles are collected in the top layer.
The middle layer is clear fat, and the bottom is buttermilk serum. This serum contains 70% solid-not-fat content (SNF) and 80% of butter moisture.
Here are the steps involved in making ghee through pre-stratification:
Step-1: Use Unsalted Butter
Pick unsalted butter of high quality to get the best taste.
Step-2: Melt the Butter
Heat the butter over medium heat in a saucepan or heavy-bottomed pan.
Step-3: Foam Skimming
Foam forms on the surface of butter as it melts. Discard the foam after skimming it off with a spoon.
Step-4: Watch for Separation
The milk solids settle at the bottom of the pan after separating from the fat while the butter cooks.
Step-4: Remove from the Heat
Remove from the pan when no milk solids are left, and the butter is a clear golden liquid.
Strain the ghee into a glass jar using a fine mesh strainer, leaving the milk solids behind.
Put the ghee in an airtight container after it cools to room temperature.
5. Continuous Method
Continuous ghee production involves de-emulsifying cream fat from the oil-in-water phase to the water-in-oil stage.
This process separates milk into 40% cream using a centrifugal cream separator and a clarifixator.
A centrifuge concentrator is then used to concentrate the cream.
The clarifixator and concentrator mechanically de-emulsify fat. In addition to producing flavour, a scraped surface heat exchanger eliminates most moisture from fat concentrate.
An oil clarifier removes ghee residue after a vapour separator removes moisture.
A popular cooking oil made from clarified butter is ghee. The traditional bilona method is the best method for making ghee.
Buying pure desi ghee ensures high-quality ghee because it is cooked at a low temperature.
In recent years, newer forms of ghee manufacturing methods like the Direct Cream Method, Creamery Butter Method, Prestratification Method and Continuous Method have been developed.
These methods are more profitable than the traditional desi method.
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