Butter is a mixture comprised of 80 to 82 percent milk fats, 16 to 17 percent water and 1 to 2 percent milk solids. Butter fats are a mixture of triglycerides of different fatty acids. Oleic, myristic, palmitic and stearic acids make up about 80 percent of these fatty acids.
Lauric, butyric, caproic, capric, linolenic and linoleic acids make up the remainder of the fatty acids in butter fat. The short-chain butyric acid contributes most prominently to the flavor of uncooked butter. The milk solids in butter include proteins and molecules such as carotenoids, which cause the yellow coloration of butter, and methyl ketones and lactones, which contribute to the flavor profile of dishes made with cooked butter.