Thursday, September 17, 2020

Sour cream: Definition and fat content

Sour cream is a relatively heavy, viscous product with a glossy sheen. It has a delicate, lactic acid taste with a balanced, pleasant, buttery-like. American sour cream is heavier-bodied than its European counterpart owing largely to having the cream homogenized twice before being cultured.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) defines sour cream as follows: “Sour cream results from the souring, by lactic acid producing bacteria, of pasteurized cream. Sour cream contains not less than 18 percent milkfat; Sour cream has a titratable acidity of not less than 0.5 percent, calculated as lactic acid.”

Body and Texture: Shall be thick and smooth, uniform, free from lumps or graininess, and spoonable to a soft mound. Flavoring ingredients shall be consistent in size and distribution in the finished product.

Color and Appearance: Shall present a clean, natural color, with a smooth, velvety appearance. Natural color may range from a bright white to a light cream color.

Sour cream, also known as cultured cream, is produced by the fermentation of high pasteurized cream that contains 18–20% fat content. It is then homogenized at a low temperature, to promote formation of homogenization clusters. The starter cultures typically used for making sour cream are aromatic starters (i.e., Lc. lactis subsp. lactis biovar. diacetylactis and L. mesenteroides subsp. cremoris) similar to those used for cultured buttermilk.

Different types of sour creams exist that are defined based on fat content. Full-fat sour creams must have at least 18% milk fat and not less than 14.4% milk fat. Reduced-fat sour cream has a minimum fat reduction of 25%. Light or lite sour cream has a minimum of 50% fat reduction. Low-fat sour cream must contain 3 g or less fat per 50 g and 6% or less total fat. Nonfat sour cream must have less than 0.5 g of fat per 50 g of product and less than 1% total fat.

Sour cream is predominantly utilized as an accompaniment with warm entrees such as baked potatoes and burritos. This usage imposes certain demands on the sensory characteristics of the product, especially with regard to texture when in contact with warm surfaces. Sour cream must remain viscous without whey separation when placed on warm food.

Sour cream is frequently used as a base in dips and sauces. Traditionally, flavors such as onion and spinach have been popular. Currently, the trend is more diverse, with flavors ranging from apricot ginger to chipotle.
Sour cream: Definition and fat content

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