In this review, traditional methods of processing, handling and indigenous preservation techniques of butter and ghee were assessed. In Ethiopia, butter and ghee processing are the responsibility of women. Traditional butter and ghee making in Ethiopia are based on indigenous knowledge using local materials and methods. Butter is made by churning naturally fermented milk. Butter is a raw material for ghee making. Salting, spicing, nigur kibe and traditional ghee making are major methods of butter preservation. Traditional ghee can be made from untreated butter, spiced butter, salted butter and nigur kibe. Butter and ghee are important components of Ethiopian traditional diets. Furthermore, butter is used for hair dressing and wound treatment. Ghee is commonly used for culinary, social functions and therapeutic purposes. There is scanty information on chemical and microbial quality of butter. Both butter and ghee are shelf stable dairy products but ghee is more shelf stable than butter. The chemical composition and microbial quality of butter is substandard. However, so far there is no such information on ghee quality. Hence, the quality and safety of traditional butter and ghee are subjects of further investigation.
Key words: Traditional, butter, ghee, production, processing, handling, preservation.
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