Canadians are complaining that their butter has suddenly become hard and isn't melting the way it used to.

Concerned home chefs and food experts have spoken out about what has been dubbed "buttergate" online, calling for answers.

There is no research proving why butter is harder, but some dairy consumers are pointing to the increased use of palm oil in cow feed as the culprit.

Julie Van Rosendaal, a Canadian cookbook author, wrote a column in the Globe and Mail last week that an increased use of palm fats in cow's diets could be what is changing the consistency in the spread.

"People are definitely feeding high-palmitic-acid-content fats to cows these days," Alejandro Marangoni, a professor and Canada Research Chair in the Department of Food Science at the University of Guelph, told Rosendaal for her column. "This would increase the long-chain saturated fatty acid profile of milk fat, but also change other things. This will definitely affect final butter texture."

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