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Processed Cheese vs Cheese Food? Can anyone here explain the difference?

Last post Feb 06, 2007 8:12 AM by Alliea . 7 replies.


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  • Processed Cheese vs Cheese Food? Can anyone here explain the difference?
    We 've had a couple recent BB threads re Cheese.

    In an attempt to clarify (for myself) Nutrition and composition differences between what they label 1)Cheese and 2)pasteurized cheese I then became aware of an additional Label
    3)"Cheese food "

    Very confusing... .Can anyone straighten out the differences between these three labels?
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    Susan-Serving as a Taste Of Home Field Editor since 2009

     

     

  • RE: Processed Cheese vs Cheese Food? Can anyone here explain the difference?
    Google gave me this:

    Labels
    Labels on natural cheese, pasteurized process cheese, and related products carry important descriptive information. The name of a natural cheese will appear as the variety, such as "Cheddar cheese," "Swiss cheese," or "Blue cheese."

    Pasteurized process cheese labels will always include the words "pasteurized process," together with the name of the variety or varieties of cheese used -- for example, "pasteurized process American cheese" or "pasteurized process Swiss and American cheese."

    Cheese food also contains ingredients other than cheese and therefore is labeled as "pasteurized process cheese food." Cheese spreads have a different composition from cheese foods and are labeled as "pasteurized process cheese spread." All the ingredients used in the preparation of these products are listed on the respective labels along with the kinds or varieties of cheese used in the mixture. Also, the milkfat and moisture content may be shown.

    Coldpack cheese and coldpack cheese food are labeled in the same manner as other cheese and cheese foods, except that the names "club cheese" or "comminuted cheese" may be substituted for the name "coldpack cheese."
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    Jolene--  http://jolenesrecipejournal.blogspot.com/


    "Find something you are passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it" -- Julia Child

     

  • RE: Processed Cheese vs Cheese Food? Can anyone here explain the difference?
    The principles of cheese processing are simple: Various natural cheeses are shredded and then blended with the melting salts and other ingredients such as various kinds of milk solids such as milk powder, whey powder, coprecipitates, cream, butter or butter oil, and sometimes also previously processed cheese. Vegetables and spices may also be added and some processed cheeses may contain 'muscle food ingredients' such as ham, salami, or fish. Other additives such as preservatives, colouring and flavouring agents, binders, and salt and water complete the list of the ingredients.

    The above site comments really concerned me re "Muscle ingredients" Jolene. My son is dangerously allergic to fish . Also what if one's religion forbids them from eating pork? Do people know a particular product has fish or meat in it ? I have never noticed this on a cheese label. Has anyone?
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    Susan-Serving as a Taste Of Home Field Editor since 2009

     

     

  • RE: Processed Cheese vs Cheese Food? Can anyone here explain the difference?
    I completely understand, Alliea! DS is allergic to p'nuts and tree nuts, and sometimes they are "hidden" in foods you'd least expect.

    I know there are specific types of cheese with ham added, I saw them while I was looking for the definitions. We don't eat much cheese here other than shredded mozzarella and grated parm, so I'm not real familiar with the labeling.

    Hope someone can help!
    Jolene
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    Jolene--  http://jolenesrecipejournal.blogspot.com/


    "Find something you are passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it" -- Julia Child

     

  • RE: Processed Cheese vs Cheese Food? Can anyone here explain the difference?
    There are a number of different types of process cheese specified by FDA, and because the federal regulations stipulate that the type of cheese must be indicated on the package label, many people have been left scratching their heads wondering exactly what they are buying and consuming.

    Pasteurized process cheese, for example, is made from one or more cheeses, such as cheddar or colby, and may have cream or anhydrous milkfat added. The cheese is blended and heated with an emulsifier—typically a sodium or potassium phosphate, tartrate, or citrate—and other optional ingredients such as water, salt, artificial color, and spices or other flavorings.

    The cheese is then poured into molds to solidify and is later packaged. This processing produces a smooth, mild-tasting cheese that melts easily. For pasteurized process cheese, the final product can have a maximum moisture content of 43% and must have at least 47% milkfat. An interesting twist is that the product alternatively can be labeled as pasteurized process American cheese when made from cheddar, colby, cheese curd, granular cheese, or a combination of these; when other varieties of cheese are included, it must be called simply American cheese.


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  • RE: Processed Cheese vs Cheese Food? Can anyone here explain the difference?
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    Here are some of the other definitions:

    Pasteurized process cheese food is a variation of process cheese that may have dry milk, whey solids, or anhydrous milkfat added, which reduces the amount of cheese in the finished product. It must contain at least 51% of the cheese ingredient by weight, have a moisture content less than 44%, and have at least 23% milkfat.

    Pasteurized process cheese spread is a variation on cheese food that may contain a sweetener and a stabilizing agent, such as the polysaccharide xanthan gum or the Irish moss colloid carrageenan, to prevent separation of the ingredients. The cheese must be spreadable at 70 F, contain 44 to 60% moisture, and have at least 20% milkfat.

    Pasteurized process cheese product is process cheese that doesn't meet the moisture and/or milkfat standards.

    Imitation cheese is made from vegetable oil; it is less expensive, but also has less flavor and doesn't melt well.

    For the record, Velveeta is pasteurized process cheese spread and Velveeta Light is pasteurized process cheese product. Cheez Whiz is labeled as pasteurized process cheese sauce, although that type isn't noted in the Code of Federal Regulations. A Kraft spokeswoman confirms that the word "sauce" just seems to be an add-on.

    This array of information has brought me full circle on my cheesy odyssey that began in first grade. It has left me pondering about where we would be today without process cheese products such as Cheez Whiz or Velveeta to put on top of a burrito or on top of broccoli or cauliflower—all "dangerously cheesy" stuff, as my own first-grader now says.

    Steve Ritter, What'd That Stuff?

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  • RE: Processed Cheese vs Cheese Food? Can anyone here explain the difference?
    Processed cheese (or process cheese) is a food product made from regular cheese and other unfermented dairy ingredients, plus emulsifiers, extra salt, and food colorings.

    Processed cheese has three technical advantages over unprocessed cheese: extended shelf-life, resistance to separation when cooked, and the ability to reuse scraps, trimmings and runoff from other cheesemaking processes.

    The use of emulsifiers, (typically sodium phosphate, potassium phosphate, tartrate, or citrate), in processed cheese results in cheese that melts smoothly when cooked. With prolonged heating unprocessed cheese will separate into a molten protein gel and liquid fat; processed cheese will not separate in this manner.

    Processed cheese is often criticized for its small range of flavors, and the higher levels of salt is another subject of criticism.

    Due to the processing and additives, some softer varieties cannot legally be labeled as "cheese" in many countries, including the United States and Britain, and so are sold as "cheese food", "cheese spread", or "cheese product", depending primarily on the amount of cheese, moisture, and milkfat present in the final product.

    Pasteurized process cheese can be made from a single cheese or a blend of several cheeses. Cream, milkfat, water, salt, artificial color, and spices may also be added. The mixture is heated with an emulsifier, poured into a mold, and then allowed to cool.

    The definitions include:

    Pasteurized process cheese, which includes "American Cheese" and "Pasteurized process American cheese."

    Pasteurized process cheese food

    Pasteurized process cheese spread (e.g. Velveeta)

    Pasteurized process cheese product (e.g. Kraft Singles)

    The various definitions are mainly used to distinguish minimum/maximum amounts of cheese ingredient, moisture content, and milkfat.

    From Wikipedia

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  • RE: Processed Cheese vs Cheese Food? Can anyone here explain the difference?
    Thanks Jolene and AlabamaNeeNee for all the infomaton.

    51 percent cheese ingredient seems really low to me you have to wonder what else we're eating?Fish?
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    Susan-Serving as a Taste Of Home Field Editor since 2009