Source: Ref. 31. "Includes cheese substitution. 'Average annual growth. "Estimate.

Source: Ref. 31. "Includes cheese substitution. 'Average annual growth. "Estimate.

• Artificial coloring.

• Spices or flavorings (other than cheese flavors).

• Mold inhibitors.

• Sweetening agents.

Processing Equipment

• Transfer of cheese from grinder to blender.

• Scale hoppers and auger cart.

• Continuous cooking.

• Aseptic processing.

• Flash tanks, scraped surface heat exchange (SSHE).

• Shear pumps and silverson mixers.

• Specialty equipment.

Forms of Packaging

Methods of Cooling

• Fast cooling. Blast coolers. Water spray tunnels.

• Slow cooling. Cased product. Restricted melt properties.


Cheese analogues are products that resemble natural or process cheeses. They are intended to have the appearance, taste, texture, and nutrition of their counterpart cheeses, but are made without butterfat. The procedures by which they are made are also quite similar to those used for traditional cheeses.

Throughout history, substitute food products have been developed as the result of shortages or the opportunity to reduce costs. With cheese analogues, the impetus was the opportunity to replace valuable butterfat with less-expensive fats made from vegetable oils. Early natural cheese analogues were made by skimming butterfat from whole milk, replacing it with some other fat, then following traditional cheese-making procedures. These products, called filled cheeses, were first made around the turn of the century (30).

In the early 1970s technology was developed in which process cheese analogues could be made by combining dried milk protein, hydrogenated vegetable oil in place of butterfat, emulsifying salts, and other ingredients, then cooking the mixture. These products simulated process American and mozzarella cheeses.


A product that simulates a natural cheese, made by substituting the butterfat in fluid whole milk with some other fat, then following traditional natural cheese-making procedures. Typical products are similar to mild Cheddar, Colby, or similar cheeses. A filled cream cheese can also be made by replacing butterfat with vegetable fat following conventional procedures.

Process Cheese Analogue

A product that simulates a process cheese, made by substituting the butterfat in a formulation, combining it with a protein source, emulsifying salts, and other ingredients and cooking the mixture. Typical products are simulations of pasteurized process cheese, pasteurized process cheese food, or pasteurized process cheese spread. Imitation mozzarella cheese is also made with this method.

Cheese analogues are classified as imitation or substitutes depending on their functional and compositional characteristics. An imitation cheese need only resemble the cheese it is designed to replace. Thus the choice of ingredients that can be used is quite extensive. However, a product can generally be called a substitute cheese only if it is nutritionally equivalent to the cheese it is replacing and meets the minimum compositional requirements for that cheese. Thus substitute cheeses will often have higher protein levels than imitation cheeses and be fortified with vitamins and minerals.

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