Three butter samples which had been officially USDA downgraded as soapy-rancid in flavor did not contain elevated levels of free fatty acids. Analysis of the samples revealed that they contained 7, 13 and 22 ppm of anionic detergents, respectively. Addition of commercial detergent preparations at comparable concentrations to fresh, high-quality butter yielded flavors that were similar in quality to contaminated butter samples, but, because of non-sulfonate carriers or diluents, these gave less pronounced soapy flavors than those found in the commercial counterparts. However, addition of pure alkylbenzene sulfonate to control butter simulated the intensity and type of soapy, detergent and drying flavors observed in the commercial butters.

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