Butter and spreadable production


Process description

The present data refer to butter and spreadable (Kærgården) production in Holstebro Dairy (Arla Foods) in 2002 where the production processes are following: 1) cream from milk production is pasteurised in a plate pasteurizer, 2) the cream is converted into butter and buttermilk by intensive stirring 3) butter and buttermilk is separated in a slowly rotating cylinder, 4) the butter is kneaded in a kneading machine and bobbles are removed by vaccuum, 5) some of the butter is mixed with vegetable oil (25%) to produce spreadable. Butter and spreadable are colled to 5oC, packed and stored for distribution. Wastewater generated during the process is diverted directly to municipal wastewater treatment plant. The dairy is characterised by a high degree of specialisation in butter and spreadable production and all processes and machinery are modern with a high degree of automation.

Data collection and treatment

Data are derived from Holstebro Dairy's records (Green Account 2001/2002) and average inputs and outputs per produced unit of butter and spreadable have have been calculated ignoring minor contributions from other products. Production of butter (process 1 to 4 above) is the main process with respect to energy and water consumption as well as water emissions. Thus, specific inputs and outputs associated with mixing of butter and vegetable oil during spreadable production (proces 5) have been ignored.

Technical scope

Production processes from receipt of cream to storage of the final product before distribution as well as administration and wastewater treatment are included. Packaging, cleaning agents as well as ingredients and chemicals are not included.


Similar technology is used in other dairies in Arla. Arla is a major supplier of butter and spreadable to the danish market and the present data provides a reasonable representation of butter production in Denmark.


No validation has been performed.

Inputs and outputs

Inputs and outputs associated with butter production and spreadable production Data are provided per kg of butter respectively spreadable without packaging at the factory's gate.

    Unit Quantity
Butter Spreadable
Inputs Cream ton 2.3 1.75
  Vegetable oil ton 0.0 0.25
  Electricity kwh 141 106
  Heat MJ 680 510
  Water m3 2.3 1.7
Outputs Products      
  Butter ton 1.0 -
  Spreadable ton - 1.0
  Butter milk ton 1.2 0.89
  Emissions to municipal wastewater treatment plant      
  COD kg 5.0 3.7
  N g 85 63
  P g 26 19

Location in database: Material/food from industry/from dairies/

Administrative information

Data URL: http://www.lcafood.dk/processes/industry/butterproduction.html
Version no.: 1.00
Per H. Nielsen, 2.-0 LCA Consultants
Data entry: Data have been entered in this format by Per H. Nielsen.

Data completed: July 2003.