January 2009
World Book Science Dataset;1/1/2009, p1
Reference Entry
Butterfat, or Milkfat, the natural fat of milk. It is the chief component of butter. Butterfat is composed mostly of a mixture of triglycerides, chemical compounds that contain fatty acids; the triglycerides in butterfat contain saturated fatty acids. It also contains vitamins A, E, and K. Butterfat forms small, round droplets or globules, 1/15,000 to 1/2,500 of an inch (.0017 to .01 mm) in diameter. They can be seen in milk placed under a microscope. Because butterfat has a density less than that of the other components of milk, it tends to rise to the top of a container of ordinary milk to form cream. In homogenized milk, the cream does not separate because its globules of butterfat have been broken up into extremely small droplets, forming a colloid.


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