How Is Fat Free Cheese Produced
Fat free cheese might seem like a misnomer, but not so. Fat free cheese is produced at industrial level. All the steps are specific and have set temperature and time, which at the end results into healthy fat free cheese. So let’s see how fat free cheese is produced at an industrial level.
Raw Product Used To Produce Fat Free Cheese
The procurement of fat free, skimmed milk is important in the process of fat free cheese production. The fat content of skim milk used in making fat free cheese is about 0.15 percent weight. Fat free skim milk is preferred over other dairy protein because of the similarity of protein in the skim milk and the conventional cheese.
Processing Of Raw Material
Fat free skim milk is processed in a cooker with a fat replacer like SPE. Many other ingredients are also used in separating the fat from the skim milk. Polyol polyesters like sucrose polyester are also used as a fat repalcer. The benefit behind using these fat replacers is that they provide desirable taste, texture and melt characteristic to the final cheese. The mixture is heated at 150° to 200° F, so that a uniform homogenous mixture is formed.
Addition Of Flavouring Agents And Preservatives
Fat free cheese production is incomplete without addition of flavoring agents and preservatives. Flavoring agents and preservatives are often added after heating process to bring about the desired change in the taste and texture of the final product. They can be used during the heating process also. It all depends upon the temperature sensitivity of the flavouring agents and preservatives. Flavorants like salt, edible acid and lipase are most commonly used in the fat free cheese making process.
In case of preservatives, it is taken care that conventional, FDA approved and food grade preservatives are added to the mixture which effectively prevents mold formation. Potassium sorbate is a very active anti-oxidant and bacteriostat, so often used as a preservative to increase the shelf life of the cheese. The amount of preservatives added is not more than 0.1%. After the addition of required preservatives and flavouring agents, the mixture is again homogenized at the pressure of 500 to 5000 psig.
The prepared cheese is cured for about 3 weeks so that it can be successfully processed after breakdown.
Providing Shape To The Processed Mixture
Once the mixture gets homogenized, it is molded into desired shape and packed in a suitable container. The product is refrigerated as the final product has shelf life of 90 days if refrigerated properly.
In this way, to produce fat free cheese various steps are followed one by one. These fat free cheeses are exceptionally good for people on diet.
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