Processed Cheese Brands Contain 50% Cheese: Slovenian Study
A Slovenian consumer group has analysed a selection of processed cheese slice brands and found that only roughly half of their make-up was real cheese, rounded out by other dairy ingredients and additives.
This finding was the result of comparative tests that the Association of Slovenian Consumers conducted on processed cheese produced by various manufacturers and retail brands. The tests concluded that the overall nutritional profile of processed cheese slices was unsatisfactory, because they contain fat, saturated fat and lots of salt.
According to the association, processed cheese is made from cheese which due to technological errors (such as being imperfectly shaped) or irregular ripening does not reach store shelves and should end up in animal feed, or even in the trash. It consists of a mix of chopped or grated cheese, to which other dairy and non-dairy ingredients are added (such as cream, whey, milk powder, butter, additives, and emulsified salt).
The comparative tests, based on the list of ingredients, established that processed cheese is made up of 48 to 55% of cheese. Four analysed samples did not even mention the ingredients. Ten of eleven products contained phosphates and some dyes. There were two atypical products (Mercator Classic and Hofmeister Snack Toast), containing 14-16% of palm fat instead of butter.
Some processed cheeses are light yellow and others are orange, as they contain the colouring agents carotene and/or paprika extract. All contain emulsifying salts, especially E 339, E 341, E 450 and E 452, i.e. phosphoric acid, phosphates, and polyphosphates, as well as E 331, sodium citrate.
The price per kilogram for the assessed cheeses ranged from €4.45 to €13.27.
© 2017 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Branislav Pekic. To subscribe to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine, click here.