The study was conducted in Dire Inchini and Ambo districts of West Shewa, Oromia, Ethiopia to assess traditional butter preservation methods and compare their efficiency. Semi-structured questionnaire was prepared, pretested and used to interview 120 women respondents having experience in butter making. Butter preservation methods identified were ghee making (100%), spicing (98.33%), melted butter (29.17%) and salting (11.67%). Commonly used spices were Trachyspermum ammi, Nigella sativa, Aframomum angusti-folium, Trigonella foenum, Zingiber officinale and Allium sativum. Based on the survey, 7 kg of fresh butter samples were purchased from open market in the two districts and taken to Holeta Dairy laboratory and randomly allocated to each treatment namely traditional ghee, untreated, salted, spiced, melted, frozen (-20°C) and refrigerated butter (4°C). Microbial and organoleptic qualities of butter were analyzed at one month interval for 3 consecutive months. Microbial qualities of the samples were substandard; but, traditional ghee and salting were more efficient. Optimization of utilization of spices and comprehensive evaluation including oxidative deterioration is vital.
Key words: Traditional, butter, preservation, microbial, organoleptic quality.
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