The Whole Truth About Cream Cheese

First, let’s figure out what is processed cheese? It is a dairy product obtained from the processing of regular cheese or cottage cheese. Processed cheese is made from rennet cheeses, melting cheeses, cottage cheese, butter and other dairy products, with the addition of spices and fillers. For him, the cheese mass is melted at a temperature of 75–95 ° C in the presence of additives – melting salts (citrates and phosphates of sodium and potassium).

Product safety

The first important point in research is that the product must be safe. Traditionally, dairy products are tested for safety by the following indicators: microbiological, by the content of antibiotics, heavy metals, toxins, pesticides. The group of safety indicators in this study would have been at an altitude, if not for one thing: coliforms – bacteria of the Escherichia coli group (coliform bacteria) – were found in this study.

Deviations in terms of: the content of pesticides, antibiotics, which can pass into the final product from dairy raw materials, were not detected in any of the samples. The content of heavy metals, aflatoxin M1, nitrites and nitrates is also normal. Note that antibiotic tests of processed cheese dispelled another myth that antibiotics are found in any dairy product. They are not in processed cheese!


No fakes

The second important point is is the product really what it claims to be? A product called “processed cheese”, like any other dairy product, does not contain non-dairy fats. If the composition contains palm oil or other non-dairy fats, from January 15, 2019, such a product should be called “milk-containing product with milk fat substitute, produced using processed cheese technology”.

In an effort to save money, some manufacturers do not hesitate to deceive the consumer. According to the results of our research, inconsistencies in fatty acid composition, as well as beta-sitosterols, detected in the fat phase of the product and indicating the presence of vegetable fats in the composition, were found in 4 cheeses: These products are counterfeit.

What are phosphates for?

The third point of research is phosphates. In spreadable processed cheeses, phosphates are found in greater quantities than in other products. And this is where the main consumer fear comes from that processed cheeses are very unhealthy. In the manufacture of any processed cheese, melting salts are used – sodium phosphates or citrates. For the production of spreadable processed cheese, phosphates are used, and for the production of processed cheese, sodium citrate salts are used. It is the phosphorus salts that the processed cheeses owe to their pasty consistency. If the product is made from mature cheeses, very little melting salts are required to obtain the desired effect. And if from cottage cheese – naturally, there will be more phosphates in the composition.

In the cheeses sent for testing, the maximum phosphate concentration did not exceed the legal limit.

About taste and color

The experts who conducted the cheese tasting did not face any serious problems. No voids or lumps were found, and the smell, color and consistency of the products meet the requirements of the Quality Standard. By the way, an unscrupulous manufacturer can use synthetic dyes to give the cheese a pleasant yellowish hue. According to the standard, only natural carotenoids are allowed to obtain yellowness. Tests have shown that there are no synthetic colors in any of the samples of the tested cheeses.

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