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Butter extract and butter flavoring sound like they mean the same thing, but there are actually some minor differences between them. So, what exactly is the difference between butter extract vs butter flavoring?
Is butter flavoring and butter extract the same? Or are they completely different ingredients?
Butter extract is the flavors and proteins extracted from whole butter, while butter flavoring is an isolated compound such as diacetyl. Butter flavoring is a more refined product and has a longer shelf life than butter extract.
Let’s look at an overview of butter flavor and butter extract to understand each item better.
What Is Butter Flavoring?
Butter flavoring comprises specific isolated compounds found in butter, such as diacetyl, acetyl propionyl, or acetoin.
These isolated compounds are combined with water alongside other ingredients like alcohol or propylene glycol; this gives the product an intense butter flavoring and is used to give dishes and baked goods an extra butter flavor in place of real butter.
Butter flavoring is a liquid product that contains no calories and lots of butter flavor. This makes it a favorite for those with dietary restrictions who can’t consume real butter or trying to lose weight.
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What Does Butter Flavoring Taste Like?
The isolation of specific butter compounds gives butter flavoring its distinctive flavor that is pretty close to the real thing.
Butter flavoring may have a slightly more intense taste than actual butter since it is a concentrated product. It may have a closely similar flavor to butter, but butter flavoring isn’t quite as pure tasting like the real thing.
This may be due to the other added ingredients that can be somewhat overpowering. You will only need a small amount of butter flavoring to add flavor to your recipe.
What is Butter Flavoring Used For?
Butter flavoring is commonly used in the manufacturing process and isn’t a regular ingredient used by home cooks. Most people prefer to opt for butter extract instead when looking to add extra butter flavoring to a dish.
In commercial settings like restaurants, butter flavoring has several uses, but it is mainly used to add that rich, delicious, buttery flavor to different products.
You can also decide to use it in your kitchen; some of the most common uses for butter flavoring include; intensifying the flavor of margarine and other oil-based spreads, as these products lack a ton of flavor when made.
Adding butter flavoring to margarine and other products makes them taste better. It can also be added to microwaved popcorn to give it a butter flavor. You can also cut down baked goods’ calorie and fat content by using butter flavoring instead of real butter.
What Is Butter Extract?
Butter extract is often confused with vanilla extract, but they are actually two different products. Butter extract is made from butter, but sometimes it is combined with vanilla.
You can find butter extract in most grocery stores in both the baking and flavoring sections. Butter extract looks similar to real vanilla extract, but vanilla extract has a richer flavor than butter extract and is always made with vanilla beans.
What is Butter Extract Used For?
Butter extract can be used in several different ways and enhances the flavor of any recipe it is added to. It is usually added to cake batter to give it a buttery flavor. You can replace real butter with butter extract, and it works similarly to butter.
Butter extract can also be added to pancake and waffle batter to enhance its flavor. It can also be added to homemade pastry dough such as cinnamon rolls or pie crust. Be mindful of how much butter extract you use so it doesn’t overpower the flavor of the baked goods.
You can make your icings and frosting to have a richer taste by adding butter extract; it basically works well in most recipes that call for melted butter.
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Butter Extract Vs Butter Flavoring: Major Differences
What is the major difference between butter extract vs butter flavoring?
Butter extract is the flavors and proteins extracted out of whole butter, while butter flavoring is an isolated compound such as diacetyl.
Butter flavoring is typically a more refined product, unlike butter extract, which is the combination of butter and water; the mixture is then strained to extract most of the fat.
Butter extract often contains alcohol, which helps to intensify the flavor and speed up the extraction process.
Another difference between butter flavoring and butter extract is their shelf life. Butter flavoring is typically a more refined product, giving it a longer shelf life than butter extract, which lasts only for a few months before going bad due to its milk content.
Is Butter Flavoring Vegan?
Butter flavoring cannot be classified as being vegan or not; this depends on the ingredients used by the brand. Many companies use natural flavors such as diacetyl instead of using butter or dairy; this makes their butter flavoring vegan-friendly.
To find out if your choice of butter flavoring is vegan or not, you can search the company and check the package label to see if it contains milk products. A non-vegan butter flavoring will carry a “contains milk” sign at the bottom of the ingredient list.
Most processed foods have to indicate if they contain dairy or not, so if a company produces non-dairy butter flavoring, it’ll also be indicated directly on the product’s label.
Any product that doesn’t use any actual butter or milk ingredients is safe to be consumed if you are vegan.
Is Butter Extract Vegan?
Butter does not contain any animal products, but that doesn’t make it vegan-friendly. It is made from a butter and water mixture and also contains milk proteins; this makes butter extract non-vegan.
A vegan substitute for butter extract that you can use to replicate a similar flavor is soybean or sunflower oil. Melted coconut oil combined with a few drops of almond or vanilla extract for a richer flavor also works well.
How To Make Butter Extract
Butter extract is made from real butter, which gives it a pretty similar taste to real butter. Butter extract is a highly concentrated solution that typically contains at least 35 percent alcohol by volume and lacks resins, compounds, or alcohol-soluble volatile oils.
Butter extract is made from several different ingredients depending on the brand, but it mainly contains water, alcohol, natural flavor, and extractives of buttermilk.
If you have pure butter extract, it is most likely also non-dairy, sugar-free, and gluten-free.
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Is Butter Flavor The Same As Butter Extract?
No, butter flavor is not the same as butter extract. Butter flavoring is a concentrated liquid product that works well in place of real butter in baking and cooking.
On the other hand, Butter extract contains a small amount of alcohol; unlike butter flavoring made with water, it can be regarded as somewhat an artificial butter extract.
Butter flavoring mixed with water gives it a thinner consistency and a more subtle flavor than butter extract.