Process cheese is produced by blending natural cheese in the presence of emulsifying salts and other dairy and nondairy ingredients followed by heating and continuous mixing to form a homogeneous product with an extended shelf life. Extensive research on the important physicochemical and functional properties associated with process cheese and the various physicochemical, technological, and microbiological factors that influence these properties has resulted in process cheese being one of the most versatile dairy products with numerous end-use applications. The present review is an attempt to cover the scientific and technological aspects of process cheese and highlight and critique some of the important research findings associated with them. The 1st objective of this article is to extensively describe the physicochemical properties and microstructure, as well as the functional properties, of process cheese and highlight the various analytical techniques used to evaluate these properties. The 2nd objective is to describe the formulation parameters, ingredients, and various processing conditions that influence the functional properties of process cheese. This review is primarily targeted at process cheese manufacturers as well as students in the field of dairy and food science who may want to learn more about the scientific and technological aspects of process cheese. The review is limited to the relevant research associated with process cheeses as defined by the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations and does not cover imitation and substitute cheeses.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||21|
|Journal||Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety|
|State||Published - Mar 2008|