U.S. Dairy Products > Butter & Milkfat

Common Questions

Sweet cream butter is made from pasteurized fresh cream and is prevalent in the United States. Cultured butter, often labeled European-style butter in the United States, is butter made from fermented cream or from pasteurized fresh cream with bacterial cultures introduced during production.

U.S. butters have a minimum 80% butterfat, while European butters tend to be between 82-85% butterfat. However, U.S. manufacturers have the ability to produce butterfat levels from 80-85%.

Butter has a natural pale yellow color, but can range from deep yellow to white depending on feed used and the breed of cow the milk originates from. In the United States, the diet of cows varies from those in Europe and Oceania, and there are also breed differences. The level of the natural pigment carotene in milk, derived from the diet of cows, is the strongest determinant in whether butter appears yellow. For areas preferring butter that is more on the yellow side, coloring can be used.

The United States is invested in growing the fresh milk supply and expanding technology from the farm through the manufacturing process to fulfill rising world demand. U.S. suppliers also have a strong desire to create strategic relationships with global customers and are well positioned to grow shipment volumes, both domestically and internationally.