Arla Foods Ingredients has developed a range of functional milk proteins that make it possible for food manufacturers to slash the salt content in their processed cheese products by up to 65 percent.
The Nutrilac proteins offer excellent emulsification properties, which means they can replace the emulsifying salts normally used to achieve a stable texture in spreadable, block and sliceable processed cheeses, as well as cheese sauce products. This results in a dramatic reduction of sodium levels in the end product – to the tune of anything between 50 percent and 65 percent.
The proteins also eliminate the need for creaming – speeding up processing times by as much as an hour. In addition, they offer fat simulation properties, helping manufacturers to produce high quality processed cheese products that are not just lower in salt but in fat, too.
There are two proteins in the range:
• Nutrilac CH-6540 for spreadable processed cheeses and cheese sauces
• Nutrilac CH-6608 for block and sliceable products
Claus Andersen, cheese application group manager at Arla Foods Ingredients, said: “Excess salt in our diets is a major issue. The World Health Organisation recommends adults consume no more than 5 grams a day – but average consumption in the West is 8 to 12 grams a day. More than two-thirds of the salt we eat is hidden in processed foods – and as a result manufacturers are coming under increasing pressure to cut sodium levels in the foods they make.
“Our Nutrilac functional milk proteins are the perfect solution for any processed cheese maker that is looking to improve the nutritional profile of their products by reducing salt without impacting negatively on consumer acceptability. Coupled with the potential to reduce fat levels, they offer a superb opportunity to create better-for-you processed cheese products that don’t compromise on taste.”
Nutrilac functional milk proteins from Arla Foods Ingredients can also be used to reduce the natural cheese content in processed cheese products from a typical level of about 65 percent to between 20 percent and 40 percent – helping manufacturers cut costs. In deep fried cheese snacks, meanwhile, the proteins can be used to adjust melting properties, something that isn’t possible when using natural cheese alone.
Claus Andersen added: “Global consumption of processed cheese continues to rise, and 12 percent of all natural cheese production worldwide is now used to formulate processed cheese products. Our Nutrilac CH-6540 and CH-6608 functional milk proteins can help manufacturers take advantage of this trend, while ensuring their products score well with consumers by offering a great-tasting healthier option.”