In the stores you can find different kind of cheese, with different names to appeal different customers, but when you see the declaration you will think otherwise. The thing is that is about processed cheese not real cheese, here you will see the difference.
Cheese Doesn’t Melt:
What is processed cheese made of?
When you see the ingredients on the back of the package you will find a long list of dairy by-products, emulsifiers, saturated vegetable oils, excess sodium, food coloring agents, preservatives and sugar.
Processed cheese begins with the same process as the natural cheeses. However, it requires more steps. Two or more kinds of cheese are selected to create the new flavor. Emulsifiers and salt are added to the blend and the cheeses are stripped of their rinds and cleaned. They are then melted together to create the new processed cheese. To prevent the cheese from molding, it is packed in a machine that contains no oxygen.
One culinary difference you’ll easily notice between natural and processed cheese is the way they melt. In the presence of high heat, the former tends to separate into oil and globs of milk protein while the latter is able to retain more consistency. This smooth melting is due to the emulsifiers added in the making of such cheeses. One of the functions of emulsifiers in food processing is to keep oil and water bound together, as on their own they would naturally separate.
The manufacturers claim that all their product are made from real cheese but most of them are processed cheese made to taste and perform well, cost low and attract a mass of consumers
Here are some FDA labeling guidelines so that you can gain insight into what you might be eating:
- Pasteurized process cheese — contains 100% cheese
- Pasteurized process cheese food — contains at least 51% cheese
- Pasteurized process cheese product — contains less than 51% cheese
Processed cheese is a food product made from cheese; plus emulsifiers, saturated vegetable oils, extra salt, food colorings, whey or sugar. As a result, many flavors, colors, and textures of processed cheese exist.
What is real cheese made of?
To create a natural cheese, the milk is homogenized to preserve the fat content and pasteurized to remove harmful bacteria. The cheese maker then adds harmless bacteria to the milk to help separate out the curd from the liquid. The curd is cut into pieces and cooked. The size of the pieces varies depending on the type of cheese. Excess liquid is removed from the curds after they have been cooked and then they are salted and pressed to form a block or wheel of cheese. The cheese then remains in a cool location to age until it is ready to eat.
On the other hand, real cheese is much simpler and more wholesome. Real cheese is made by heating milk and adding in natural enzymes and bacterial cultures. Then the curds (fatty lumps) are separated from the whey (protein liquid), after which the curds are salted and shaped into a wheel or block to age.
Natural cheese is often aged for an extended period of time, anywhere from a few days to many years. This makes it more expensive and less convenient for food manufacturers and consumers. However, buying real cheese supports a time-tested, earth-friendly economic system based on farming.