Enhancing the Protein of Buttermilk

Project entitled:

Increasing the Value of Buttermilk Solids

Yves Pouliot, Michel Britten, Sylvie Gauthier, Laurent Bazinet, Paul Angers, Dominique Michaud, Jessika Bédard-St-Amant, Sophie Izmiroglu, Pierre Morin, Samia Mezouari, Nathalie Rémillard, Anaïs Gras, Nicholas Rancourt


Approximately 10 kg of buttermilk powder are generated from the production of 100 kg of butter. Currently, buttermilk is used mainly in food formulation (e.g., bakeries and cookie factories), where it competes with powdered milk and whey. Although it has a similar composition as skim milk, certain characteristics of buttermilk limit its technological uses. Much work has demonstrated that the functional properties of buttermilk, other than its emulsifying power, are often inferior to those of skim milk. Furthermore, the incorporation of buttermilk in cheese milk reduces the firmness of the curd and the retention of species. Scientific literature suggests that phospholipids, protein-lipid complexes and other minor lipids are the reason behind these problems. We can therefore make the assumption that separating the lipids from the buttermilk would make it possible to restore the technological properties of the lean part while at the same time producing a value added extract. The purpose of the project was to develop an integrated approach that would make it possible to completely use buttermilk solids in dairy and food processing. The project also aimed to better understand the phenomena or interactions responsible for the distinctive technological characteristics of buttermilk. Lastly, it sought to propose a new technological approach that would make it possible to use buttermilk in cheese factories and provide preliminary data on the potential for using buttermilk and its parts as functional food ingredients.