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Abstract:

Ghee or clarified butter is a traditional fat rich dairy product produced by simmering butter fat. It is excellent for cooking, baking, sauteing, seasoning or for direct consumption in everyday diet.

The key concept of Ghee becoming Grass fed is that it is manufactured from grass fed milk.

Grass fed milk is produced from the pasture grazed cows which has spent around 90% of their time in open pasture and nearly 85% of their diet came from the grass, grass silage, hay and forage crops.

Grass fed ghee has several nutritional benefits over conventional ghee, like enhanced fatty acids profile, increased beta-carotene level and excellent sensory properties. It is free of potentially unhealthy additives, preservatives, GMO’s or rBST.

New Zealand has a year old tradition of pasture based dairying system. Feeding cost is major determinant of commercial viability of any dairy farm business. While it is technically permissible to include grain as “supplementary feed” in New Zealand, it is impractical and not used due to high availability of grass.

Conducive natural environment, climate, ample rainfall, year round sunshine and geographical location of New Zealand facilitated abundant grass production. These make the dairying in New Zealand quintessentially ‘grass fed’ and at the same time the products of Milkio’s also. 

Keeping the growing customer’s demand of grass fed dairy in mind Milkio manufactures Grass fed Ghee prepared from 100% New Zealand Grass fed Cow milk butter/ cultured butter. Milkio, being a secondary manufacturer, procures grass fed butter from recognized suppliers within New Zealand and continuously supply quality products to consumers.

Origin

Ghee or clarified butter or ghee butter originated in ancient India and became a household name for everyday diet.

Eventually ghee has gained worldwide acceptance for preparing and enhancing flavor of various cuisines due to its excellent buttery taste, rich aroma and versatility over cooking oil, butter oil or regular butter.

Moreover regular consumption of ghee gives several health benefits like improving eyesight, skin and hair, relieves constipation, boosts immune system, shows anti-inflammatory properties, improves brain and heart health and provides a lot of energy to the body.

It supports Ghee supports ketogenic diet (zero carbs) and absolutely suitable for those who are lactose intolerant (as lactose is not present in ghee).

It is also Paleo friendly. Ghee contains no or trace amount of casein. Ghee can be infused with various flavors , like garlic, lime etc or can be added with Himalayan Pink Salt for more value addition.

Ghee stay shelf-stable up to 12 – 18 months under proper storage conditions. Extremely low free fatty acid (FFA) content offer a high smoke point and make it ideal for deep frying, baking and sautéing.

Grass fed Ghee is mainly derived from grass fed milk fat. Improved fatty acids profile of Grass fed Ghee over regular Ghee assures several health benefits on regular consumptions.

The presence of grass fed biomarkers in Milkio’s Grass fed Ghee tested through various analytical tests further support the health claim of being grass fed.

This healthy fat is absolutely natural and free from rBST, antibiotics, GMO’s etc. The presence of beta carotene in high concentration further elevate the sensory attribute by gives a natural golden yellow colour to grass fed ghee. Beta -carotene is the precursor to vitamin A , an essential vitamin for cellular health and vision.

The definition of Grass fed or Pasture fed as per Animal Status Declaration requirements, New Zealand states that animals rose under normal New Zealand conditions with year round access to fresh green grass or conserved grass or rangeland pasture can be classified as “Grass fed”.

Therefore and as the term indicates, grass fed dairy products are those who derived from cattle raised on predominantly pasture grazed method. Several current studies on grass feeding confirmed elevated nutritional and sensorial properties of milk and milk products coming from grass fed cows.

The emerging concept of grass fed Ghee gained a tremendous population among the customers who believe these products as healthier, natural and premium.

Considering the premium price structure due to growing consumer’s faith on grass fed Ghee, many leading dairy brands are now launching grass fed Ghee products as a premium product category in the global market.

Being based in New Zealand, where grass fed dairying is tradition and getting practiced for 150 years, Milkio produces ghee with best quality grass fed butter of grass fed cow’s milk procured from NZ only.

Difference between Grass-fed ghee and Organic Ghee and where they match:

 

Customers generally find three terms related to ghee while browsing on internet. They are produced grass fed organic and organic grass fed.

So how these terms differ from each other?
Grass fed milk is produced from cows only fed grass and forage.

They are not given grain, grain products or corn silage.

Organic milk is produced from cows only fed organically grown grass, forage, hay or feed.

Organic milk can also be called grass fed if it adheres to the standards of both practices.

Both grass fed and organic cows eat much more grass which results increased omega-3 content and making their omega-6 to omega-3 ratio lower.

A lower omega-6 to omega-3 ratio is associated with anti-inflammatory properties. Both grass fed and organic milk may also have higher levels of fat soluble vitamins and antioxidants. 

Therefore, both grass fed and organic ghee (organic grass fed too) shows an elevated fatty acids profile and higher concentration of beta carotene as compared to conventional ghee.

Milkio Procures Raw Materials (Grass fed Butter) from Traditional Pasture Based Dairying in New Zealand:

Milkio procures raw materials for manufacturing Ghee from New Zealand. The country has a tradition of grass fed dairying since long.

New Zealand has a temperate climate along with optimum rainfall, fertile soil and plenty of sunshine which supports excellent growth of high-quality grass on the extensive pasture lands throughout most of the year and provides cost-effective and high quality feed source to the dairy animals, and deliver high quality dairy products with natural goodness. 

Milkio procures raw materials for manufacturing Ghee from New Zealand. The country has a tradition of grass fed dairying since long.

New Zealand has a temperate climate along with optimum rainfall, fertile soil and plenty of sunshine which supports excellent growth of high-quality grass on the extensive pasture lands throughout most of the year and provides cost-effective and high quality feed source to the dairy animals, and deliver high quality dairy products with natural goodness. 

In New Zealand, it is classified as grass fed when average 85% of the ration of dairy cows comprises of grass, grass silage and forage crops (mainly legumes and Brassicas) and the dairy cows mandatorily spending no less than 90% of their time (excluding milking time) on pasture. 

Cows graze in the lush green pasture for most of the days during a year and thereby enjoy a pleasant and stress free life in their natural habitat. As a result, milk derived from grass fed cows shows a significant higher number of nutritional attributes containing higher percentage of omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, and macro and micro nutrients.

All these attributes give New Zealand’s grass fed dairy products a unique selling point of becoming more “healthier” & “natural” and premium in the international market. Several studies have verified the possible positive impact of pasture feeding on the nutrient profile of milk fat.

It increases the content of some beneficial nutrients such as,

  • Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Vaccenic acid,
  • Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA), 

While reducing,

  • Levels of Omega-6 fatty acids
  • Palmitic acid

Consumers usually consider grass fed farming as healthy, animal friendly and an environmentally sustainable method of milk production. More over the enriched nutritional profile of “Grass fed” milk produces more “healthy” dairy products. 

While it is technically permissible to include grain in “supplementary feed” in New Zealand (“pasture fed”, note 3, ASD guidelines, NZ), it is impractical and not used because grass is plentiful and convenient in New Zealand. Grain, on the other hand, is six to eight times expensive than grass and unsubsidized. 

Pasture grazing in grass fed dairying is the best and cheapest way to accrue maximum nutrition from healthy green fresh grass for the dairy animals as the cost of grain/ cereal based feeds are so high in New Zealand. 

The grass feeding technique helps the country’s farmers to remain in dairy business for generations with sustainable economic return and as well as makes the dairying in New Zealand quintessentially ‘grass fed’ and at the same time the products of Milkio’s also.

Benefit of grass based feeding system on Ghee:

The overall composition and quality of the diet offered to the cows through pasture based feeding system have a significant effect to elevate the nutritional quality and sensorial attributes of milk and milk products.

Milk from cows fed pasture-based diets, is repeatedly reported to have a superior fatty acid (FA) profile (higher concentrations of a Vaccenic acid, CLA, and Alpha-linolenic acid), protein content and presence of ß-carotene (precursor of vitamin A) as compared to milk that is derived from a grain based feeding system.

The golden yellow colour of dairy products derived from grass fed milk is attributed to the higher concentration of ß-carotene.

Milk Fat:

Fat, the functional components of milk plays a major role in consumer preference of Ghee. The health benefit and sensorial qualities like flavour as most of the volatile flavour components are fat soluble, smooth and silky mouth-feel and golden yellow colour of Ghee as of high β-carotene  content are positively correlated with the quality of fat.

Impact of Grass feeding on the Lipid Fraction:

The high fibre and minerals content of feed in Grass fed system induce fat synthesis in the mammary gland.

These results higher milk fat content in grass fed milk.

The fatty acids in bovine milk are sourced either from feed or from as products of ruminal microbial digestion.

The de novo synthesis of short and medium chain fatty acids is encouraged by pasture feeding which eventually enhance the overall fat concentration in grass fed milk.

  • Healthy Fats:

Fresh pasture contains high proportions of Alpha-linolenic acid which represent the most abundant Omega-6 and Omega-3 FA in milk fat.

These dietary PUFA cannot be synthesized by humans or animals. Therefore must be sourced from the diet. Alpha- linolenic acids’ is the precursors of CLA.

It increases the Omega-3 FA to achieve an improved Omega-6 to Omega-3 ratio in human nutrition.

The lower ratio of Omega-6:Omega-3 is beneficial for human health.

Grass feeding systems can lower this ratio in milk fat and increase their isomers.

Such nutrients include Vaccenic acids (trans-11 C18:1);

Alpha – linolenic acid (C18:3); cis-9, trans-11 CLA; trans-11, cis-9-18:2 providing a nutrient rich milk fat with an improved thrombogenicity index compared to milk fat from grain fed system.

  • The Sensory and Quality attributes:

The Fatty Acid profile of the grass fed milk affects the physiochemical and sensory characteristics of the final product. The unsaturated fatty acids increase along with the proportionate decrease of saturated fat during grass feeding which impacts the textural properties of fat.

The effect of grass fed systems on the fat of grass fed milk provides a higher consumer preference in fat rich dairy products because of some favourable sensory attributes.

They are pleasant dairy aroma, smooth and creamy texture. Fresh pasture is rich in natural antioxidants such as tocopherols and carotenoids, especially β-carotene , which are transferred into the milk fat during pasture feeding.

The golden yellow colour of grass fed fat rich dairy products are due to this higher concentration of β-carotene  in grass fed milk.

Advantages of Grass fed Ghee:

 As grass feeding gives a positive impact on the fatty acid profile of milk, thereby Ghee, being the purest form of milk fat entraps all the goodness in it. The beneficial components are as follows:

CLA (conjugated linoleic acid): Ghee, produced from fresh-pasture fed cows has,

  • Increased CLA concentration (2-3 times higher than grain-fed milk) 
  • Good health effect of CLA includes antiatherogenic effect, altered nutrient partitioning, improved lipid metabolism, antidiabetic action (type II diabetes), immunity enhancement and improved bone mineralization

Omega-3 Fatty Acids: It is a metabolic biomarker derived from grass fed animal metabolism. Ghee, produced from fresh-pasture fed cows has,

  • Higher concentration of Omega-3s (in the form of alpha-linolenic acid, or ALA). 
  • Low ratio of Omega-6s to Omega-3s in grass fed ghee enhance the benefits of Omega-3s much more balanced overall fat composition in terms of health risks and benefits good source of Vitamin A

Butyric acids: Grass feeding also increases the butyric acid and content in ghee. It is  an essential short-chain fatty acid.  It helps in digestion and contributes to a healthy digestive tract.

Beta-Carotene: It is a Plant biomarker and not synthesized by animals. Therefore, the occurrence of Beta-Carotene in Ghee is quintessentially due to fresh green feed. Carotenoid pigments and terpenes metabolites are the examples of such compounds which get stored in the animal’s fat after absorption and derived in milk.

  • Ghee, produced from fresh-pasture fed cows has a higher concentration of β-carotene than grains and fermented feeds.
  • The main reason behind the low levels of β-carotene is because of heat damage and breakdown during storage of grains and fermented feeds.
  • Human bodies use β-carotene to make vitamin A, which is essential for retina function, healthy skin and prevention of infection. β-carotene also works as an antioxidant.

Milkio Grass fed Ghee: A Premium quality product:

Pasture feeding supports very high competitive position of New Zealand in the world’s dairy market.

The overall composition and quality of milk derived from cows fed pasture-based diets, is reported to have a higher fat, protein and β-carotene  contain with improved nutritional status.

Annually, New Zealand cows spend at least 2,000 hours in sunshine on pasture which results higher levels of Vitamin D in milk and milk products.

The β-carotene content of grass fed milk-fat ranges from 5.0 to 14.0 mg/kg (ppm).

Milkio grass fed ghee contains 5.35 mg to 7mg β-carotene per kg ghee.

Pasture feeding is repeatedly recognized as an enhancer of various beneficial nutrients including Vaccenic acid, CLA, Β-carotene and Alpha-linolenic acid, which undoubtedly elevate the nutritional composition and the sensory characteristics of grass fed milk and milk products.

Pasture derived dairy products are famous as “Grass fed” dairy products and considered as more “healthy”, “natural” and obviously “premium” by the customers of world market which eventually results an excellent economic return to the dairy practitioner.

This is encouraging NZ’s farmers to stick to the traditional grass fed system by ensuring the premium price of their milk.

Being a secondary manufacturer Milkio is also ensuring the goodness of grass fed in ghee to become more “healthier and natural” by producing grass fed ghee from premium quality grass fed butter procured from New Zealand only.

“100 % New Zealand”:

Milkio grass fed ghee is “100% New Zealand”. The natural practice of grass fed dairying makes New Zealand’s dairy products quintessentially “grass fed”.

The flavour of grass fed dairy products appears to be affected by the unique characteristics of the climate, soils and forages of the places from which they originate. These unique characteristics are called terroir.

“Terroir”, sum of the NZ’s ambience and traditional dairying that influence the flavours and qualities of dairy brings the concept of “100% New Zealand’s” milk and milk products which is placed as finest in world market since long.

rBST free: 

Milkio Grass fed Ghee is rBST free. Recombinant bovine somatotropin (rBST), is an artificial growth hormone that increases milk production. The effects of rBST are still not well defined and claimed to be mediated by the insulin-like growth factor (IGF) system.

Due to its alleged effect on human health, consumption of milk from rBST treated cows is not preferred by masses.  Grass fed dairying is completely free from rBST as most of the feeding happening in pasture with very little need based supplementation.

Nutritional Outlook:

Milkio grass fed ghee is the fatty product derived exclusively from highly nutritious premium quality grass fed butter or cultured grass fed butter of New Zealand cow’s milk. The product is produced following the method of traditional ghee and thereby ensure extremely  rich ghee aroma and microbial safety. It is free from any added preservatives, colour, flavour or other additives. It is suitable for keto diet and paleo friendly diet.

It is free from animal body fat, vegetable oil (coconut oil, olive oil) and fat, mineral oil and genetically modified substances. It has pleasant taste and rich flavor. The extremely low water content (not more than 0.3%) of Milkio grass fed ghee do not allow microbial growth and offer longer shelf life (18 months).

Intense care is taken throughout the entire process to ensure the highest quality product is produced. The collection of grass fed butter,  ghee making process and packaging is carefully monitored and controlled to ensure product safety, consistency and quality of being grass fed. We meet Codex Standards 280-1973 for Ghee.

Milkio Grass fed Ghee, with a higher smoke point is a good alternative to cooking oil or butter. It is extremely suitable for frying, backing and sautéing of various cuisines.

Milkio ghee contains all the advantages of grass fed dairying, such as healthier fat composition (eg: butyric acids), CLAs, Omega 3 fatty acids and high beta carotene content. Its golden yellow colour is very much natural and due to high beta carotene content of raw materials. The controlled processing stages preserve the grass fed goodness of raw material and transfer it directly to the final product.

The product is absolutely free of rBST, antibiotics and GMOs.

Milkio is secondary producer and does not own dairy farms. Pasteurized grass fed butter is the raw material and procured from the grass fed dairy farms/ suppliers of New Zealand only. Milkio grass fed ghee carries premium nutritional qualities (elevated Fatty Acids Profile) and sensory attributes which are recognized as grass fed goodness.

grass fed ghee

Milkio has following types of grass fed ghee:

  • Grass fed Ghee: Prepared from grass fed butter (unsalted butter)
  • Cultured Grass fed ghee: Prepared from cultured grass fed butter (unsalted butter)
  • Himalayan Pink Salt Grass fed Ghee: Prepared from grass fed butter (unsalted butter) and Himalayan Pink Salt
  • Garlic Grass fed Ghee: Prepared from grass fed butter (unsalted butter) and garlic extract for garlicky flavor
  • Lime Grass fed Ghee: Prepared from grass fed butter (unsalted butter) and lime extract for limy flavor
  • New Zealand’s Natural Grass fed Ghee: Prepared from grass fed AMF

Milkio – Why are we grass-fed?

The vital point of becoming Grass-fed for any dairy product is purely based on the concept that the product is manufactured from grass-fed milk.

Analysis of grass-fed biomarkers of Milkio Ghee:

Dairy products derived from grass fed cows carry premium nutritional qualities and sensory attributes which are marked as biomarkers for examining and authenticating the “grass fed” claim. Generally, the markers are classified into two groups:

Plant biomarkers:

Plant biomarkers comprise of Carotenoid pigments and Terpenes which are not synthesized by animals and can only be present in animals from the dietary source.

The principal carotenoid pigment in milk fat is β-carotene, which gives yellow colour to the milk fat. The β-carotene content of New Zealand milk-fat generally varies from 5.0 to 14.0 mg/kg (ppm) with a typical value of 8.5 mg/kg.

The uniform golden yellow colour and high beta carotene content in Milkio Grass fed Ghee indicates higher amount of grass feeding (there is no added colour in the Milkio ghee). β-carotene content of Milkio Grass fed Ghee is approximately 5.35 mg/kg. Vit-A content of Milkio Grass fed Ghee is approximately 5.48 mg/kg (as per laboratory analysis)

Metabolic biomarkers:

About 95% of the fatty acids (FA) in grass consist of Palmitic, Linolenic, and Linoleic acids. Grass feeding causes an increase in milk CLA content as fresh grass contains a high proportion (0.50–0.75) of total FA content as α-Linolenic acid. Lots of studies are already done worldwide to support that milk from grass fed cows can have 2-3 times as much CLA with average values of 2.09 and 0.81 gm/ 100 gm fatty acids for summer and winter periods, respectively than grain-fed animals.

The fatty acid profile in grass fed milk and dairy products brings the omega-6/omega-3 ratio to nearly 1 to 1, compared to 5.7 to 1 in conventional whole milk and milk products.

Milkio grass fed ghee on laboratory analysis showed a higher values for Conjugated Linoleic Acid, Alpha Linolenic acid, mono unsaturated fatty acid (MUFA) and Omega 3 fatty acid. It has also been observed low of Linoleic acid supporting further avoidance of grain feeding in source cows. Further, the ratio of Omega 6 fatty acid and Omega 3 fatty acid also support the grass fed claim. 

Total CLA content of Milkio Grass fed Ghee is about 1.03% of total Fatty Acid where α-Linolenic acid comprises of 0.69%, Omega6 to Omega 3 ratio of Milkio grass fed ghee is 1.17 and Vaccenic acids (16.32%/total Fatty Acid) in Milkio Grass fed Ghee providing a nutrient rich support our health claim.

Epilogue:

With the rising purchase power and education, concern over healthy and wholesome food is growing. They want to know where the product is manufactured, how the raw materials are sourced and what are the safety measures and standards.

Further, consumers are inclining towards premium quality products ranging from organic to grass fed, creating a market for this unique genre of products. New Zealand, being traditionally grass fed dairying system and world reputed dairy producer and exporter of dairy products across the globe has immense potential to cater the demand of grass fed dairy products across the world.

Based in New Zealand, Milkio is carrying the same chore essence in their business. We are committed to provide grass fed ghee to our customers maintaining the complete essence of traditional New Zealand dairying.

We are also committed to bring all the freshness and health benefits of the grass fed to its fullest level to our valued customer.

In the era of grass fed products, Milkio wants to secure a place through their premium quality “Grass fed” ghee.

References:

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Appendix:

  • Grass-fed biomarkers analytical report
  • RMP declaration and registration documents
  • Grass-fed ghee specifications.
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