The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



the production of butters; a sector of the meat and dairy industry.

The use of butter, for ritual purposes, is first mentioned in the Bible (2000 B.C.). Although butter was known in ancient Greece and Rome, it was used there primarily for medicinal purposes. It was first used as a food product in northern Europe, and by the 12th century A.D. it was being exported from Scandinavia to other countries. In Russia butter was made on the estates of the gentry and on peasant farms in Siberia and in northern European Russia. Commercial production began in the late 19th century in Western Siberia, the Baltic region, and Vologda and Arkhangel’sk provinces. Butter made in Russia was already in great demand abroad.

Under Soviet power, butter-making has grown into a highly mechanized branch of industry. By 1973, there were about 2,400 creameries producing more than 1 million tons of butter per year, including about 15 types of butter with various tastes, aromas, and consistencies.

The USSR produces sweet butter (from fresh pasteurized cream), cultured butter (as much as 5 percent bacterial ferment added to the cream), butter with various additives, and clarified butter (about 99 percent butterfat). Clarified butter has been made in the USSR for years; in Russian, it is called melted butter, because it is produced by melting ordinary butter. It was once known abroad as Russian butter. The USSR produces between 25,000 and 50,000 tons of clarified butter per year.

The raw material for butter is cream, which is obtained by separation from milk. Two methods are used in making butter: (1) churning cream with a fat content of 30-45 percent in batchand continuous-operation butter-making machines and (2) converting high-fat cream (up to 80 percent fat). In the first method, the cream is first pasteurized and then cooled rapidly (to 4°-8°C). During cooling a significant proportion of the butterfat crystallizes and hardens, a process that is promoted by holding, or letting the cream stand for ten to 16 hours. The cream is then mixed vigorously in a butter-making machine, so that the butterfat separates out in clumps (1-3 mm in diameter) called granules. After separation of the nonfat portion (buttermilk), the granules are pressed into blocks. In the final stage the butter is churned again to make it smoother and more homogeneous. The batch butter-maker is a cylindrical or conical steel tank (1,000-20,000 liters) that revolves at a rate of 20-40 rpm until the buttermilk is removed, after which it revolves at about 1.5 rpm. The continuous-action butter-maker is a metallic cylinder (churn) in which a blade revolves at 1,500-2,700 rpm. The buttermilk is separated out in the screw chamber of the machine, and the granules are converted into butter.

In the second method, pasteurized high-fat cream is fed under pressure into a butter-former, in which it is cooled rapidly to 12°-14°C while it is churned vigorously by machine. The butterfat crystallizes with a high level of homogeneity. The product hardens one to two minutes after it is removed from the device.

There are two types of butter-formers: devices in which the cooling and mechanical processing are combined and devices in which the processes are separate. Devices of the first type are water- and brine-cooled cylinders with a revolving displacement drum from which two scrapers are suspended to clean the cooling surface. The product is processed in the circular clearance for four to six minutes. The second type consists of a cooler, a crystallizer, and processing devices. Thin-walled (5 mm) heat exchangers (cooled by brine and liquid ammonia) or chambers in which the product is atomized are used as coolers. The cooled product is held for as long as 150 seconds and is then processed mechanically in screw-type devices or devices with blade-type mixers.

The butter is shaped into 20-kg blocks, 100- and 200-g briquets, and 20-g portions. It is packed in oil paper or paper with a thin layer of aluminum foil to prevent surface moisture evaporation and souring. High-quality butter, packed in 20-kg blocks, can be stored without change for 11-12 months in refrigerators at -18° to -20°C. Butter in small packages can be stored for a month. The main butter producers in the USSR are (1971) the RSFSR (489,600 tons), the Ukraine (252,800 tons), Kazakhstan (43,500 tons), Byelorussia (56,700 tons), and the Baltic republics (95,200 tons).


Proizvodstvo masla sposobom nepreryvnogo sbivaniia. Moscow, 1968.
Surkov, V. D., N. N. Lipatov, and N. V. Baranovskii. Tekhnologicheskoe oborudovanie predpriiatii molochnoi promyshelnnosti, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1970.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in classic literature ?
However, Tess became humanely beneficent towards the small ones, and to help them as much as possible she used, as soon as she left school, to lend a hand at haymaking or harvesting on neighbouring farms; or, by preference, at milking or butter-making processes, which she had learnt when her father had owned cows; and being deft-fingered it was a kind of work in which she excelled.
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It is true that her light-brown hair was cropped behind like a boy's, and was dressed in front in a number of flat rings, that lay quite away from her face; but there was no sort of coiffure that could make Miss Nancy's cheek and neck look otherwise than pretty; and when at last she stood complete in her silvery twilled silk, her lace tucker, her coral necklace, and coral ear-drops, the Miss Gunns could see nothing to criticise except her hands, which bore the traces of butter-making, cheese-crushing, and even still coarser work.
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