While natural cheeses tend to form free fat and moisture in cooking applications, process cheeses are made to have smooth, uniform flow when melting occurs. The cooking stage of process cheese manufacture tends to stop natural cheese aging, thereby extending the flavor properties of mild- or medium-aged cheeses throughout a much longer shelf life than would be the case of natural cheeses from which they are made. Further processing of natural cheeses affords manufacturers the ability to select melting properties that range from free-flowing, to partially restricted, to full melt-restriction. A free-flowing melt is desirable for hamburgers and in cooking applications such as macaroni and cheese. Partial melt-restriction is typically desired for cordon bleu applications where some ingredient flow is desired, but the cheese should not just run away from the center of the plated item. Full melt-restriction is useful for cheese inclusions within further processed foods, e.g., hot dogs or sausages. Process cheese products also allow combinations of flavors, e.g., American, Swiss and other cheese blends. Process cheeses tend to be versatile and, with appropriate control of ingredient inputs, predictable and consistent for both flavor and texture attributes. These favorable characteristics justify the extensive popularity of process cheese foods in the food service industry. Table 12.1 shows some historical production information for process cheeses; process cheese foods and spreads; and cold pack cheeses (International Dairy Foods Association, 2006). Table 12.2 presents U.S. process cheese per capita consumption data for a similar time frame (International Dairy Foods Association, 2006). © 2009Springer-Verlag New York.
Kussy, D., & Aylward, E. (2009). Pasteurized process cheese. In The Sensory Evaluation of Dairy Products (pp. 387–401). Springer US. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-0-387-77408-4_12