Wikipedia Article About Cream on Wikipedia
Cream is a dairy product that is composed of the higher-butterfat layer skimmed from the top of raw milk before homogenization. In the raw milk, over time, the lighter fat rises to the top. In the industrial production of cream this process is accelerated by using centrifuges called "separators". In many countries, cream is sold in several grades depending on total butterfat content. Cream can be dried to a powder for shipment to distant markets.
Cream produced by cattle (particularly Jersey cattle) grazing on natural pasture often contains some natural carotenoid pigments derived from the plants they eat; this gives the cream a slight yellow tone, whence the name of the yellowish-white colour cream. Cream from cows fed indoors, on grain or grain-based pellets, is white.
In the United States, cream is usually sold as:
- Half-and-half (10.5–18% fat)
- Light, coffee, or table cream (18–30% fat)
- Medium cream (25% fat)
- Whipping or light whipping cream (30–36% fat)
- Heavy or heavy whipping cream (36% or more)
- Extra-heavy or manufacturer's cream (38–40% or more), generally not available at retail.
Not all grades are defined by all jurisdictions, and the exact fat content ranges vary. The above figures are based on the Code of Federal Regulations, Title 21, Part 131 and a small sample of state regulations.