Processed Cheese

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A combination of one or more types of natural cheese that have been pasteurized to extend storage life. Cheese spreads and imitation or substitute cheeses are also included in the Processed Cheese categroies. Processed cheeses generally contain added dairy ingredients, such as emulsifiers to increase smoothness or melting properties. Dyes are added to create coloring, preservatives to lengthen shelf life are added in addition to stabilizers, vegetable-based gums, and flavoring to provide a distinctive taste in the product. Unlike natural cheeses that may have a distinct flavor or texture, processed cheeses are smooth or spreadable, odorless, and typically mild or very bland in taste.

One of the most common and well known types of processed cheese is referred to as American cheese. Other types are also available such as the spreadable processed cheese that is produced in France, known as Gourmandise. Gourmandise Cheese is a smooth and creamy cheese that may be seasoned with flavorings and/or nuts such as Kirsch liqueur, cherry juice or bits of walnuts. The French also produce a La Vache, Qui Rit, or Rambol cheese that are classified as Processed Cheese. A Swiss variety includes their Gruyère-style cheese that is made into a block shape for use as a processed cheese.

Imitation or substitute cheeses which are also considered to be Processed Cheeses, are produced in a manner that lengthens their shelf life. By removing the butter fat and water from the cheese, imitation cheeses can be made to be more stable and last almost indefinitely on the shelf with minimal refrigeration. However, the substitute cheeses may be nutritionally different since other ingredients may be used instead of cheese to produce the product. Substitute cheeses are often produced with soy or milk-based ingredients to assist with digestive problems or other health issues in order to provide food alternatives for those desiring this type of cheese. Imitation cheese has a look and feel like Processed Cheese but may have reduced-fat or no milk products included in the ingredients. Also, vegetable oils may be used instead of butterfat casein, a protein solid is often used to replace the cheese curd for processing the product.

USDA Nutrition Facts

Serving Size1 oz
Calories303
Protein16g
Total Fat22g
Total Carbohydrates9g
Dietary Fiber0g
Sugars8g
Potassium335mg
Sodium1499mg
Cholesterol80mg
Serving Size2 tbsp
Calories276
Protein12g
Total Fat21g
Total Carbohydrates9g
Dietary Fiber0g
Sugars6g
Potassium240mg
Sodium1638mg
Cholesterol75mg
Serving Size2 tbsp
Calories215
Protein16g
Total Fat9g
Total Carbohydrates16g
Dietary Fiber0g
Sugars8g
Potassium297mg
Sodium1705mg
Cholesterol35mg

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