Control processing to produce butter, spreads and margarines (BSM) products

Business Sectors (Suites): Dairy
Developed by: Improve
Approved on: 30 Mar 2023


This standard covers the skills and knowledge needed for you to produce butter, spreads and margarine products in food and drink manufacture and or supply operations. Knowing how to produce the correct specification of butter, spreads and margarines products is important to the production of a final product that adheres to regulatory food safety and organisational quality and yield specifications.

The raw material could be from a variety of sources but principally milk and its derivatives such as skim, whey, buttermilk and cream.

You will need to know how to prepare equipment to produce BSM products and control the BSM products making process. You must also know how to adhere to regulatory standards and standard operating procedures. You must be able to apply your skills and knowledge within food safety regulations and any relevant international industry codes especially when referring to HACCP, TACCP and VACCP.

This standard is for you if you work in food and drink manufacture and/or supply operations and are involved in producing butter, spreads and margarine products.

Performance criteria

You must be able to:

1. prepare to receive product from upstream equipment for efficient production of BSM within the relevant manufacturing operation
2. prepare to control BSM processing equipment and associated compliance documentation
3. use the correct personal protective equipment
4. check organisational standard operating procedures and product recipes relating to the production of butter, spreads and margarines
5. check that all necessary plant, equipment, plans for production, ingredients and services are available and fit for use
6. check documentation to ensure plant is ready for use
7. start up and control dairy processing equipment within the limits of your responsibility
8. work at a pace suitable to meet the production plan
9. make adjustments to equipment to maintain organisational product specifications
10. take representative samples for testing adhering to organisational sampling plan within the limits of your responsibility
11. evaluate faults for impact on product and processing equipment operations within the limits of your responsibility
12. make dairy product available to next stage of processing or packaging
13. prepare for changeover of product recipe or packaging in line with organisational requirements
14. prepare to handover process on shift changeover in line with organisational requirements
15. deal with product waste in line with legislation and organisational requirements
16. liaise with relevant personnel to prepare plant for shutdown
17. process and route interphase product
18. establish and maintain effective spoken, written and electronic communication with relevant people
19. complete the necessary documentation and process to organisational requirements

Knowledge and Understanding

You need to know and understand:

1. the food safety aspects of the production of butter, spreads and margarines products including HACCP, TACCP and VACCP
2. the dairy science underpinning the raw materials and the process used for production (the fat, protein, lactose, salt, other additives, moisture and total solids content)
3. the health and safety aspects associated with the process
4. how butter, spreads and margarines products are classified
5. the regulations relating to the composition requirements for different types of butter, spreads and margarine products
6. the role and function of the equipment and processes required to carry out butter, spreads and margarines manufacture
7. what the common faults of butter, spreads and margarines dairy products are and how to deal with them at each stage of manufacture
8. organisational specifications and equipment standard operating procedures relating to butter, spreads and margarines
9. quality tests associated with BSM production (moisture, salt, spread-ability, iodine values, peroxide values)
10. why it is important to control storage temperature of butter, spreads and margarine products
11. why and how to control equipment to ensure the butter, spreads and margarine products meet organisational final product quality, yield and productivity specifications, such as how to vary moisture, salt, pH, organoleptic and physical properties of butter by control and regulation of processing equipment
12. why it is important to monitor the consistency of the butter throughout the churning and separating process and how to do this
13. the action needed to address changes in the cream fat levels, type of fat and season
14. how to adjust BSM equipment/instrumentation in response to product quality tests
15. common sources of contamination during processing, how to avoid these and what might happen if this is not done
16. how to deal with product that can be re-cycled or re-worked

17. how butter, spreads and margarines are stored to ensure maintenance of quality and yield
18. the hygienic design of butter, spreads and margarines equipment
19. how to grade butter
20. how the manufacture process and support operations  use digital technologies rather than paper based systems to monitor and control production


Scope Performance

Scope Knowledge





Links To Other NOS

External Links

Version Number


Indicative Review Date

30 Mar 2028





Originating Organisation


Original URN


Relevant Occupations

Food Preparation Trades, Manufacturing Technologies, Process Operatives, Process, Plant and Machine Operatives

SOC Code



Dairy; butter; spread; margarine; product; food; drink; yield; quality; ingredients