Many people don’t even know that butter and margarine are not the same. I have spoken to people that just believed they are just different names for a single food item. If you also do not know, butter and margarine are not the same thing. Some margarine manufacturers have capitalized on this by advertising their margarines as butter – you hear people call cooking margarine cooking butter. I am going to show you what differences they have between them so that you will never walk into that grocery store and just pick anyone.
Main Differences Between Butter & Margarine
1.How Butter & Margarine Are Made
Butter is made from cream which rises to the top of milk if it sits for a period of time. The process involves churning the cream, a chemical reaction takes place which makes the cream begin to solidify. It is not as simple as this but I do not want to bring in all the jibber jabber that are actually useless to you.
Margarine on the other hand is made from solidification of vegetable oil in the presence of a catalyst through a process called hydrogenation. The solidifying process begins when hydrogen is bubbled through the vegetable oil (liquid) at a high temperature and in the presence of a catalyst to solidify it.
The summary of all these is that butter is from animal source while margarine is from plant source.
2.The Price of Margarine and Butter
Butter are costlier than margarine. If you see butter and margarine of comparable quantity having the same price tag, please check very well as the butter might not be butter. Using taste as a factor might prove unproductive because the difference between butter and margarine can be very subtle, depending on manufacturers.
3. The shelf-life of Butter and Margarine
Butter and margarine have different shelf lives. Butter must be kept refrigerated in order to remain fresh for several days. Margarine should be refrigerated to maintain its solid form between uses, but it can remain stable much longer than butter.
Colour could also be a determinant as margarines are generally more yellow than butter. This test can however, not be used on its own because I have recently seen some margarines that are not as yellow as margarines used to be in the past. This is just my own observation but it could serve as the 12th player in the team when you need to make a decision.