Ghee, a clarified butter, is a pure butterfat without water and milk proteins commonly found in normal butter. It is prepared by slow heating the classic butter with water evaporation, and milk solids are separated and removed leaving a golden-yellow liquid – that is the pure butterfat – ghee.

The color of ghee depends on the origin of the milk. Ghee made from cow’s milk is yellowed due to the presence of β-carotene. In contrast, white color of ghee from buffalo milk is cause by low beta-carotene content [1].

People with allergy to cow’s milk protein should consumed ghee with caution. However, it has low-lactose content, just like butter – both these products are suitable for people with lactose intolerance. Compared to butter, ghee has the same fat content as the nutritional composition.

You can read in many articles that ghee is a suitable fat on pan. After removing the milk proteins, its smoke point is increased from 177 ° C (butter) to 252 ° C (ghee).  It means that it does not overheat up to this high temperature and is a suitable fat for heat treatment of meals.  High smoke point of ghee is caused by the removal of milk proteins [2]. 

The smoke point is an indicator of the oxidative stability of fats. It indicates the temperature at which the blue smoke appears above the burning fat. Burned fat is not suitable for eating [8].

When I was looking for support for this claim in scientific articles, I found only one research (if anyone knew about others, I would be very glad to send them to me) on this topic. This recent research from 2018 indicates that ghee remains only oxidative stable up to 150 ° C (for 5 min heating). When heated above 170 ° C, the valuable components (antioxidants, fat-soluble vitamins, etc.) in it are damaged /oxidized, and at 250 ° C the ghee becomes rancid. In this study, the temperature of 250 ° C was designated as the smoke point for ghee, because it begins to smoke [9].

If you would like to make your own ghee, you can find preparation instructions here.


[1]        CABALLERO, Benjamin, Paul M. FINGLAS a Fidel TOLDRÁ. Encyclopedia of food and health. Boston: Academic Press is an imprint of Elsevier, [2016]. ISBN 9780123849472.

[2]       TOBY AMIDOR. Ask the Expert: Ghee Butter. Today’s Dietitian Magazine. 2016, 18(10).

[3]        Butter, without salt Nutrition Facts & Calories. SELFNutritionData [online]. [vid. 2018-06-11]. Dostupné z:

[4]       Clarified butter and ghee from Practical Paleo Nutrition Facts & Calories. SELFNutritionData [online]. [vid. 2018-06-11]. Dostupné z:

[5]      Scientific Opinion on Dietary Reference Values for fats, including saturated fatty acids, polyunsaturated fatty acids, monounsaturated fatty acids, trans fatty acids, and cholesterol. EFSA Journal [online]. 2010, 8(3), – [cit. 2018-03-13]. DOI: 10.2903/j.efsa.2010.1461. ISSN 18314732. Dostupné z:

[6]       ANTTI ARO a TRUUS KOSMEIJER-SCHUIL. Analysis of C18:1 cis and trans fatty acid isomers by the combination of gas-liquid chromatography of 4,4-dimethyloxazoline derivatives and methyl esters. Journal of the American Oil Chemists’ Society. 1998, 8(75), 977–985. 

[7]       DORNI, Charles, Paras SHARMA, Gunendra SAIKIA a T. LONGVAH. Fatty acid profile of edible oils and fats consumed in India. Food Chemistry [online]. 2018, 238, 11th IFDC special issue ’Food composition and public health nutrition, 9–15. ISSN 0308-8146. Dostupné z: doi:10.1016/j.foodchem.2017.05.072

[8]       American Oil Chemists’ Society (2011). “AOCS Official Method Cc 9a-48, Smoke, Flash and Fire Points Cleveland Open Cup Method”. Official methods and recommended practices of the AOCS – (6th ed.). Champaign, Ill. : American Oil Chemists’ Society.

[9]        AHMAD, Naveed, M. SALEEM a Mohammad SHAHID. Studying heating effects on desi ghee obtained from buffalo milk using fluorescence spectroscopy. PLOS ONE [online]. 2018, 13(5). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0197340. ISSN 1932-6203.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *