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What’s the Difference Between Cream and Heavy Whipping Cream?

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I mentioned in yesterday’s Friday Cocktail – The Whipped White Russian that I used “Heavy Whipping Cream”. I started thinking maybe some people don’t know the different between cream and heavy whipping cream.

In my post when I said “used heavy whipping cream instead of regular cream”, I was referring to light cream.

According to the US Department of Agriculture, the differences are as follows:

Creams and Eggnog

Product
Milkfat Content
EggNog Contains not less than 6% milkfat, not less than 8.25% milk solids not fat, and 1% egg yolk solids.
Light Cream Contains not less than 18% but less than 30% milkfat.
Light Whipping Cream Contains not less than 30% but less than 36% milkfat. May also be called “Whipping Cream”.
Heavy Whipping Cream Contains not less than 36% milkfat. May also be called “Heavy Cream”.
Half-and-Half Half milk and half cream. Contains not less than 10.5% but less than 18% milkfat.

Just in case you’re wondering, here are the details for sour cream.

Sour Creams (Acidified and Cultured)

Product
Milkfat Content
Sour Cream Contains not less than 18% milkfat.
Sour cream with added
sweeteners and flavorings
Contains not less than 18% milkfat of the remainder contained by substracting the weight of added ingredients from the weight of the food, but in no case does the food contain less than 14.4% milkfat.
Reduced fat sour cream Minimum of 25% reduction in total fat. Contains 13.5% or less fat, but not less than 6% total.
Lowfat sour cream Contains 3g of fat per 50g of food fat. Contains 6.0% or less, but not less than 1.0% total fat.
Nonfat sour cream Contains less than 0.5g of fat per 50g of food fat. Contains less than 1% total fat.

Now for the good part :D

Cream, eggnog, half-and-half, and sour cream products shall be clean, sound, wholesome, and be free from foreign material such as, but not limited to, dirt, insect parts, hair, wood, glass, or metal.

Before you ask, here’s what the USDA says about Pasteurization/Homogenization:

All cream, half-and-half, and sour cream products shall be pasteurized at a temperature of not less than 75°C (166°F) for a period of time not less than 15 seconds or at a temperature of not less than 66°C (150°F) for a period of time not less than 30 minutes. Eggnog shall be pasteurized at a temperature of not less than 80°C (175°F) for a period of time not less than 25 seconds, 83°C (180°F) for a period of time not less than 15 seconds or 69°C (155°F) for a period of time not less than 30 minutes. All pasteurization equipment shall be properly designed and operated for a time and temperature thereto for microbial destruction. Pasteurization shall be in accordance with general provisions (21 CFR §131.3) and the Grade “A” PMO. The cream, eggnog, and half-and-half products shall be homogenized.

Homogenized means blended into uniform mixture.

So next time you’re at the grocery store, you’ll be well informed on reading some of the dairy labels. ;)

Do you find this type of information useful?
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2 comments to What’s the Difference Between Cream and Heavy Whipping Cream?

  • mama

    Jersey cows are gentle (think snuggle cows), small (think eats less) and produce relatively large amounts of milk- on average, 16,000lbs./7,260kg (~1860 gallons) per cycle, with a high butterfat content of 4.9%, total protein 3.7%.

    Holstein cows are frisky, large and milk output range up to 28,000lbs./12,700kg (~3260 gallons) per cycle, with 2.5-3.6% butterfat, 3.2% total protein.

    Somewhere between fall the Ayrshire, Brown Swiss, Guernsey and Milking Shorthorn breeds.

    Thanks to: http://www.raw-milk-facts.com/dairy_cow_breeds.html for the above information.

    But thanks to my dad, I grew up with, primarily, Jerseys, and am familiar with the work involved in running a small dairy farm. They were great for me as the youngest kid to handle, groom, train, show, and nap with. They were like pets.

  • dID YOU KNOw I have my caps lock on but anyway… I’m too lazy to fix it… my head hurts! Bad! Anyway did you know that different milk cows produce different types of milk. LIke milk fat content ish. I don’t know the best way to describe it.

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