Cultured Buttermilk

Buttermilk is the fluid remaining after cream is churned into butter. It is a thin, watery liquid that is rarely consumed as a fluid drink. Because it is rich in phospholipids (derived from the rupture of milk fat globules during churning), it has excellent functional properties and is an especially good source of natural emulsi-fiers. It is typically spray dried and used as an ingredient in processed food products. Cul tured buttermilk, in contrast, is made from skim or low-fat milk that is fermented by suitable lactic acid bacteria. The only relation this product has to buttermilk is that butter granules or flakes are occasionally added to provide a buttery flavor and mouth feel. How, then, did this product come to be called buttermilk? In the traditional manufacture of butter, it was common practice to add a mixed, undefined lactic culture to cream prior to churning. The lactic acid would provide a pleasant tart flavor, and the cream-ripened butter would be better preserved.The resulting by-product, the buttermilk, would also be fermented.

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