Processed cheese was invented in the early 1900’s, no one was able to foresee the significance of the breakthrough, or the many facets of its potential for further development. Advantages associated with processed cheese can be categorised as follows:
The production of processed cheese opens up a considerable range of possibilities for preparing a wide variety of different types of processed cheese. The melted cheese, which is derived from a blend of natural cheese and other raw materials, can be packed as desired. The finished product can have the following consistency:
Processed cheese industry has been making considerable efforts over the years to satisfy the consumer with varieties and packaging. Manufacturers of prepared frozen foods are opting for processed cheese in different shapes and sizes.
Processed cheese results in a number of advantages to natural cheese:
- Processed cheese with added spices, essence and flavours. The substances used include spices, vegetable extracts and spice essence, flavours of natural or artificial origin.
- Processed cheese with other foodstuffs added, such as meat products, seafood, mushrooms and vegetable origin products.
- Processed cheese in cans and certain other packaging material results in longer shelf life and therefore does not require refrigeration storage
- Special grated block processed cheese for toasting, garnishing pizzas, for mass produced frozen foods in particular.
- Special processed cheese slices which toast well for fast food products e.g. burgers or toasted sandwiches.
- Processed cheese with a considerable degree of thermal stability i.e. form-stable block processed cheeses to be added (in the form of cubes) to meat or fish products, soup or sauces.
- Processes cheese in snack form with a flavor variance for different cheese and wine functions; parties; finger-meals… etc
A multitude of applications can be achieved with processed cheese which shows what tremendous potential processed cheese production has for highly nutritious foods, which keep well, and occur in a whole variety of flavors.
Nutritional value of processed cheese
Processed cheese is a valuable source of nutrition. The nutritional value of processed cheese depends on the raw material used for processing. In principle, processed cheese can be assumed to have the same nutritional value as the cheese from which it is made.
Processed cheese contains protein, essential and non-essential amino acids, milk fat and its associated substances, fat-soluble and water soluble vitamins and minerals. The addition of Casein, butter, whey powder can help increase the nutritional value of the product quite substantially.