Butter typically has a pale yellow tint, although this hue can shift dramatically, all the way from deep yellow to white, depending on the diet and breed of cow used to generate the milk that was used to make the butter. Cows in the United States, Europe, and Oceania are not the same in terms of breed, and their diets are not the same either.
The quantity of carotene, a naturally occurring pigment that comes from the diets of cows, that is present in milk is the single most critical factor in determining whether or not butter has a yellow color. There are some areas of the world that have a predilection for butter that leans more toward the yellow side of the color spectrum, and coloring can be used in these areas.
Have you ever given any thought to why butter is yellow in color? People usually inquire as to why new zealand butter is so yellow in comparison to butter produced in other parts of the world. If you’ve ever had the opportunity to go to other countries, you may have noticed that the color of the butter in those countries is typically much lighter and whiter than the color of the butter in New Zealand. The diet of the cows is to blame for this situation; grass-fed cows produce yellow butter, whereas grain-fed cows produce white butter.
The scientific basis for this is the yellow pigment beta-carotene, which is present in the grass that cows eat and is stored in their fat and incorporated into their milk. Since milk primarily contains water, the yellow color is carried by the fat used to make butter rather than by the milk itself. As the butter fat separates during the churning process, the beta-carotene (pigment) is revealed, resulting in a gorgeous yellow butter product.
What Makes New Zealand Butter So Good?
The vast majority of the cows that are used to produce butter are jersey cows. Jersey cows are well-known for producing milk that is naturally high in butterfat and of exceptional quality. Unexpectedly, butter produced from sheep or goat milk appears white. This is due to the fact that other animals, unlike cows, do not accumulate beta-carotene.
The unique conditions of New Zealand’s West Coast contribute, at least in part, to the exceptional quality of the country’s butter. Because of the considerable rainfall on the West Coast, they do not have to utilize extra feed or irrigation because our cows are able to graze on lush, green meadows throughout the entire year. This enables them to save money.
Butter produced by cows given a natural diet consisting mostly of grass will be yellow in color, whereas butter produced by cows given a diet consisting primarily of grains will be of a lighter tint. This is analogous to eggs produced by free-range hens, which typically have yolks that are richer in color and nearly appear orange in hue. The happier the cow, the butter will have a deeper yellow color.