Imagine obtaining a natural cheese flavor in less than three days rather than using traditional aging methods, which can take up to two years. Enzyme-modified cheese (EMC) may sound like a mouthful, but it’s actually an enzyme-treated cheese curd that produces a more robust cheese flavor in less time. Though there are other options, EMC is still a primary go-to for food manufacturers. These enzymes are added either when the cheese is made or after aging, followed by an incubation period when the flavors are fine-tuned.
For food manufacturers, this means acquiring high quality, aged cheese flavors without the wait, which boosts the bottom line on production costs. Enzyme modified cheese is especially useful when there are limits on how much cheese can be used in a product compared to how much flavor is needed. EMC also adds a dynamic to the flavor toolbox, offering more diverse notes through formulation, opening the door to complex and interesting cheese flavors for a variety of products.
In the age of clean label marketing, however, enzyme modified cheese sounds like it came from a lab. Therefore, many manufacturers look for options that sound more natural. Some food producers turn to cheese powders, also known in the industry as dry cheese or dehydrated cheese. Instead, manufacturers can opt for an often overlooked viable alternative called concentrated cheese paste, which has all the benefits without the negative connotation.
Concentrated cheese paste delivers exceptional cheese flavor because it is composed of nearly 80 percent block cheese. However, it costs only 20 percent as much. A manufacturer may see big cost reductions based on the combined amounts of concentrates and backfill products in items such as cheese sauces, dips, and cheese-flavored crackers. Concentrated cheese paste also offers 3 to 5 times the flavor intensity of natural cheese curd and comes in a variety of distinctive flavors, including traditional style and ethnic cheese notes.
Using concentrated cheese paste may also provide health benefits, including possible reductions in fat, sodium, and calories, all without compromising taste. And unlike block cheese, concentrated cheese paste maintains a consistent flavor profile from the day you get it to the day you use it.
For any food manufacturer seeking the perfect balance of taste with reduced production costs, concentrated cheese paste is a perfect solution. Endless applications and diversity in formulation add to the product development dynamic. Concentrated cheese paste offers all the benefits of enzyme modified cheese, but with a more positive public perception. It’s the best thing since, well, regular cheese.