We all know that cream is a dairy product, which means it came from milk. But, do you know there are different types of cream according to how it is processed? All variants such as the whipped, whipping, half, single, double, clotted, sour, and sterilized cream go through the primary procedure of separating the fat from the milk through centrifugation.
A large vat with a centrifuge spins the milk at a high-speed rotation. The fat solids then rise to the surface while the denser liquid settles down and the cream skimmed off the surface for further processing.
Milk produced by cattle feeding in natural pastureland contains carotenoid pigments from the grass they eat. This pigment gives the cream a yellowish tint while cream from goat’s milk has a white colour. Carotenoid is a phytochemical that is an anti-oxidant, which is good for the health.
Different cream attributes
- Whipped cream/whipping cream– contains at least 35% fat, used for making cakes, pastry fillings, and other desserts. Air bubbles incorporated into the cream gives it a fluffy texture and added volume.
- Clotted cream – contains at least 55% fat, used as creamer for English tea. This kind of cream involves the natural process of fermentation, allowing the fat to rise naturally and then heated in a boiling bath for 40-50 minutes. When cooled down, the solid crust becomes the clotted cream. Commercially, to hasten the separation of the fat from the milk, a different method is used.
- Sour cream – by injecting a bacterial culture on the milk fat, it produces lactic acid that thickens and sours it. Sour cream contains about 18% fat.
- Sterilized cream – goes through a more stringent procedure of sterilization by heating the canned cream at a very high temperature. This process kills the bacteria present during the production, giving the product longer shelf life. Sterilized cream does not spoil even if stored at room temperature for months. If refrigerated after opening, it can keep longer. Sterilization gives the cream a caramel flavour that goes well with desserts and pastries.
Studies show that cream is a rich source of naturally occurring trans-fatty acids. The sterilized cream has about 20-25% fat content. According to the UK Department of Health, “average intake of trans-fatty acid for all age group is less than 2g per day (0.8% of food energy), which is below the maximum recommended intake of 2% of our total food energy.”
To stay healthy, keep everything in moderation. Have a healthy lifestyle and exercise regularly.