Should butter freeze in the refrigerator?

Butter is an irreplaceable product that the housewife always has at hand. It is used for frying or baking, it is used to grease molds and, of course, it makes delicious sandwiches. But only a few know how to properly organize the storage of butter in the refrigerator.



Traditional, Amateur or Peasant

GOST determines the composition of the oil (Photo:
Look for these terms on the packaging. According to the state standard, in their production it is allowed to use only cream from milk, bacterial starter (if necessary), table salt and carotene as a dye. The fat content of these types of oil ranges from 72.5 percent for “Peasant” to 82.5 percent for “Traditional”.

On sale you can find butter “Sandwich” and “Tea” with a fat content of 50-61 percent. GOST allows the use of flavors, preservatives, consistency stabilizers and emulsifiers in their production. Such a product will not benefit the body.

Rules for buying butter in a store

When going to the store, it is important to buy a high-quality, natural product that carries all the benefits for the body. How to choose the right butter? What should you pay attention to first?

1. Title. The packaging should say, for example, “peasant oil” or “traditional oil”, etc. If the word BUTTER is not written on the package, then according to the law this product is no longer butter, but is some kind of analogue, or simply put, a surrogate or spread. A spread is just a fatty product made from vegetable fats. The percentage of milk fat in them is less than in natural butter, or may not be there at all (then it is pure margarine). Whether you should take a cheap and low-quality product is of course up to you to decide. But there is no benefit in such a product, most likely only harm.

2. Fat content. Real butter should have a fat content of at least 72.5%. It is the milk fat of cow's milk contained in the natural product that has the most beneficial and nutritional properties.

In Russia, butter is divided into:

  • traditional, it contains the highest percentage of fat mass fraction - 82.5%;
  • amateur, also has a high percentage of fat mass fraction - 80.0%;
  • peasant, the percentage of mass fraction of fat is 72.5%;
  • sandwich with a percentage of mass fraction of fat - 61.0%;
  • tea, has the lowest percentage of fat mass fraction - 50.0%.

If you see a package with the name “sandwich butter”, then you need to understand that with only 61% fat content, this product can no longer be real butter. Therefore, sandwich and tea butter contain, in addition to milk fat: flavorings, food coloring, emulsifiers, and consistency stabilizers.

In addition to the name of the product itself, you can also read the inscription: sweet and sour, which means that the butter was made from fresh (sweet) pasteurized cream. If, in addition to the word butter, the package also says “sour cream,” this means that the butter is also made from pasteurized cream but using fermented milk cultures (it is allowed to add leaven to such butter). Sour butter is considered healthier because it is produced using lactic acid microorganisms, and it also has a more pleasant taste.

Butter (traditional, amateur, peasant) is also divided into salted and unsalted, which the label can also tell you about.

3. GOST. You need to choose butter that contains GOST 37-91, first or highest grade (this is the main GOST, there are also other GOSTs that do not cancel the requirements of the main one, but expand the assortment names). Be careful: according to the law of the Russian Federation, issued in 2004, the spread may now indicate GOST R 52100-2003. That’s why you need to be especially careful when choosing, because packages with natural oil also contain GOST. They produced such a low-quality product, in order to still sell it, they wrote slogans calling for action on it: “light”, “dietary”, “natural aroma”, “creamy taste”. As you understand, the taste and fabulous aroma of such a product can be determined by only one thing - the presence of synthetic flavors and flavoring additives in it.

Only butter produced in accordance with GOST 37-91 contains everything necessary that butter should be different from - vitamins, as well as natural milk fat. These important components help our vision, the beauty of our skin, hair, and nails.

GOST butter comes in two types: first or highest grade. The highest quality oil is considered to be of the best quality. At the same time, specialists evaluate such organoleptic indicators as: smell, color, taste, consistency, packaging, etc. The product is rated on a 20-point scale. If the butter of a given manufacturer scores 11-16 points as a result of such an assessment, then it is assigned the first grade. If you receive 17-20 points - the highest grade.

In addition to the variety, an important indicator characterizing butter is the percentage of fat content. For a natural product, as mentioned above, it cannot be lower than 72.5%.

Butter can also be made according to specifications; in this case, you need to carefully study the composition on the label.

4. Composition. The composition of real butter should be written: cream and whole milk. This means that a natural product cannot contain vegetable fats at all, which are present in spreads. There are two types of spreads: vegetable-creamy, this is when the content of vegetable fats prevails over milk. And vice versa, creamy-vegetable, in this case milk fat predominates in the product over vegetable fats. The very name spread translated from English means spreading or stretching, i.e. soft butter. Due to the content of vegetable fats (and their share is at least 39%), the spread spreads easily, even when cooled in the refrigerator. Despite the fact that spreads can be enriched with various vitamins, phytosterols and other beneficial substances, they are less fatty than butter, but the presence of vegetable fats in them cannot make this product healthy. In addition, flavor enhancers and artificial flavors can be added to them. The most alarming factor is that all spreads contain trans-isomers of fatty acids, which can cause the risk of developing tumors, cardiovascular diseases, infertility, and Alzheimer's disease. Whether you need to take such a risk by using a spread instead of a natural product is, of course, up to you to decide, since no one will be more responsible for your health than you yourself.

5. Price. Butter should have a price of less than 80 - 100 rubles per pack. This is an average figure; a pack can also be of different weights - less than 200 grams. But you need to understand that with the purchase price of milk being 20-23 rubles, in order to produce 1 kg of butter you need to process more than 20 liters of milk. Therefore, real butter cannot be too cheap.

6. Date of manufacture. It would be a good idea to look at the date of manufacture if the price of a stick of butter is suspiciously low. Stores often hold promotions at the end of a product's shelf life, reducing its price. In this case, it is doubtful to talk about the quality of the product, because by the end of its shelf life, it already begins to accumulate harmful substances, oxidation products, and, if proper storage rules in the store are not followed, harmful microorganisms. The longer the butter has been stored in the store, the greater the likelihood of buying a low-quality product.

The expiration dates indicated on the packaging may vary from 1 month to several months. GOST clearly prescribes a shelf life of 30-35 days. But on packages of imported oil you can see a much longer life. Such a deviation from the standard is allowed if the manufacturer receives the appropriate permission from Rospotrebnadzor. However, in this case, there is a high probability that to increase the lifespan, the oil contains additives that are not beneficial to human health. Personally, I buy oil from domestic manufacturers with a one-month shelf life.

7. Packaging. In the store, you need to choose butter packaged in foil or opaque parchment, then the product will be less susceptible to destruction by light, and therefore oxidation. The packaging should not be deformed; if this is observed, then most likely the oil was defrosted and re-frozen, which will negatively affect its quality.

What else can you pay attention to?

8. Hardness test. Try pressing your finger on a stick of butter. If it is hard, then this is a good sign. Because oils containing vegetable fats (palm, coke, rapeseed, sunflower oils) cannot completely freeze even in the freezer.

9. Trail test. In addition to hardness, you can also check whether the butter leaves traces. You need to peel back the edge of the package and see if there are any traces of oil left on it. Natural butter has a high fat content and cannot leave marks on the foil or other packaging in which it is located.

Only "butter"

The product should be called “oil” (Photo:
Carefully examine the packaging. It should say “butter” and not “maslitse”, “maslichko” and other diminutive terms. If the manufacturer indicates “oil” on the packaging, he is obliged to adhere to the standard in recipe and preparation.

It would be a good idea to read the composition. The fewer ingredients it has, the better. If you find vegetable fat in the composition, put the package back. This product has nothing to do with natural oil.

General rules

Oil has many beneficial properties, but loses them when exposed to high temperatures and direct sunlight. Therefore, the product should be stored in a cool, dark place. In urban environments, the ideal place is a refrigerator, but in the countryside, a cool cellar does the job well.

But knowing the optimal conditions is not enough, because there are many nuances - packaging, composition, temperature conditions. All this must be taken into account when organizing product storage.

Two packs of oil

Two packs of oil

High price

To produce a kilogram of butter, you need 40 liters of milk (Photo:
In any case, the cost should be twice as high as that of margarine and spread. Natural oil cannot be cheap. To get a kilogram, you need to use three and a half kilograms of cream with a fat content of 30 percent. And they are obtained from 40 liters of milk. Thus, a kilogram of butter should be equal in cost to 40 liters of milk, and this does not take into account the cost of work on its production.

Choose a mid-price product among those that cost more than spreads. The cost of high-quality oil from different manufacturers is approximately the same.

Consistency is moderately firm

The bar should be hard (Photo:
When the bar is in the refrigerator, it hardens, and in supermarkets, even in open display cases, the butter should be moderately hard. Why in moderation? Because the consistency of the product may vary depending on the time of year it is made.

Winter oil is always hard, “oaky” in the refrigerator. But summer is softer and does not harden completely at normal storage temperatures. When you press on the packaging, you can feel it crumble under your finger.

Spreads do not harden in the refrigerator. If you take such a pack in your hands and press on it, it will wrinkle on both sides.

How to pack butter for storage

Storing butter in the main compartment of the refrigerator is the best option if the product will be completely consumed within a few weeks. How long butter is stored at an average temperature of -3 to +3 degrees directly depends on the packaging.

  1. If it transmits light, that is, it is made of thin paper or polyethylene, then the product will be fresh within 1.5-2 weeks. You can extend this period by simply placing the packaging in a dark plastic container that does not allow light to pass through.
  2. If the butter is packaged in foil or laminated paper, no additional measures are required, however, a hermetically sealed container will help preserve its freshness and taste even better.

Oil in packaging

Oil in packaging

Attention! There is another reason why container storage should be organized. Butter easily absorbs odors and acquires the taste of other foods, so you need to place it in a container with a lid to preserve the taste without any foreign notes in it.

No drops on the surface

The surface is homogeneous, without moisture (Photo:
Leave the block at room temperature and evaluate its appearance after an hour. If no traces of moisture appear on the surface, then the oil is natural.

You can check the composition by dissolving it in water. Place a piece of butter in warm water and stir. If it melts without a trace, and “spots” of fat appear on the surface, then everything is in order. If white flakes form in the water, it means the composition is broken and the product is of poor quality.

Freezer – long-term storage of oil

Many housewives are interested in the question of whether butter freezes in the refrigerator and whether it is possible to extend its shelf life using the freezer. If you suddenly purchased a large amount of oil, then it is allowed to be stored in the freezer, but only under certain conditions:

  1. separate sealed packaging;
  2. the temperature is not lower than -18 degrees (otherwise it will freeze and lose its beneficial and tasteful qualities).



When exposed to sub-zero temperatures, the soft product freezes and becomes so hard that it is very difficult to cut. However, repeated freezing and thawing of butter is not recommended. To avoid such a mistake, experienced housewives advise preparing soft butter before freezing as follows:

  1. the entire mass is divided into portions of 200-250 grams;
  2. each portion is wrapped in parchment paper;
  3. The finished portions are placed in a clean, dry plastic container with a lid.

This measure will allow you to remove the product from the freezer as needed. Defrost it in the main compartment of the refrigerator, where the oil does not freeze.

Chopped butter

Chopped butter

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