We've rounded up our expert process cheesemakers to answer your most frequently asked questions:
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Process cheese is a blend of real dairy ingredients -- natural cheese, cream and milk powder. The blend is heated to a minimum of 165 degrees, resulting in a pasteurized product. Emulsifiers are added during the heating process to keep the ingredients from separating.
Process cheese offers many advantages over natural cheese in the areas of flavor and functionality, food safety, shelf stability and pricing. Process cheese can be formulated to a desired melt point, color and flavor. You control your product's viscosity, mouth feel, "cling-ability" and texture. You can match any natural cheese flavor, yet the flavor profile won't change over time. Natural cheese flavors can be combined to create flavor blends such as Swiss American. Many condiments like meat, spices and vegetables can be incorporated in process cheese formulations. Process cheese also offers a longer shelf life and much better micro stability. Lastly, you can formulate the variety of process cheeses to hit desired price points.
Process cheeses are used in a variety of products including: frozen entrees, frozen dinners, hand-held snacks, breaded appetizers and value-added meat products, where getting the right cheese melting point is critical; cheese sauces and cheese soups, where attaining a certain viscosity and/or 'cling' is important; dough-baked goods, where 'cheese show' and cheese flavor intensity are paramount; salad dressings, where the cheese must stand up over time in a low-pH, high-acid environment; and shelf-stable meat and cheese snack components, where ambient temperature shelf stability is required.
Many of our process cheeses are coded at one year of shelf life.
Ornua Ingredients is the pioneer in restricted or controlled melt technology. Our line of Con-Trol™ cheeses are offered in a variety of melts ranging from EZ Melt to Super No Melt. Depending on your product application requirement, Ornua Ingredients has the melt level you desire.
Ornua Ingredients offers a variety of meat inclusions such as pepperoni, cooked Italian sausage, and Chorizo Mexican sausage. We also carry a complete line of hot pepper inclusions like jalapeno, habaneros and chipotle peppers. We offer a variety of spice blends like ranch, pizza seasoning, taco, BBQ, smoke flavors, garlic peppercorn and an Italian blend. Vegetable inclusions like horseradish, onion, sun-dried tomatoes, peppercorns and broccoli are also available.
Ornua Ingredients works with Fortune 100 food companies as well as small-to-medium size food processors. Our typical order minimum is 5,000 lbs. However, Ornua Ingredients will work with new customers to develop a tailored program that is right for you.
Cheddariffic is an innovative and extremely food-safe alternative to cold club cheese. Cheddariffic is natural cheese that has been ground, pasteurized and filtered providing the highest level of protection against foreign material and pathogens. Works great as a base in sauces, soups, and other cheese-containing foods. Cheddariffic can be labeled the same as natural cheese (i.e. Cheddar Cheese (Milk, Cheese Culture, Salt, Enzymes), Water, Salt, Color. Also available in Swisstastic flavor profile.
Ornua Ingredients makes a variety of Mexican and Spanish-style process cheeses that closely mimic the more expensive Mexican natural cheeses. Some of these products include Queso Fresco, Asadero, Oaxaca, Queso Quesadilla and Manchego. Ornua Ingredients also produces many other ethnic process cheeses such as Asiago (Italian), Feta (Greek) and Paneer (Indian).
They are good process cheese solutions for customers who want to achieve the same nutritional profile as natural cheese but at a much lower cost. A cheese blend uses real dairy and non-dairy ingredients. Cheese substitutes use only non-dairy ingredients such as soybean oil and starches.
Process cheese by its very nature is extremely low in TFAs, but Ornua Ingredients does offer zero trans fat cheeses as well.
While Ornua Ingredients does produce some stock items, the majority of cheeses Ornua Ingredients makes are custom formulated to meet customer specifications as to flavor, color, melt level, texture, viscosity and other critical customer parameters.
Slicing TubeZ™ (tubes) and BlockZ™ (blocks) are custom-sized tubes and blocks of process cheese that are designed to be run on high-speed slicing equipment. Their specific sizing eliminates or minimizes trim waste and related labor costs. These products are used by large volume producers of sandwiches, breakfast sandwiches and hamburgers. TubeZ™ (tubes) and BlockZ™ (blocks) are more efficient and cost effective than pre-sliced cheese in these applications.
Yes, Ornua Ingredients has numerous pump-able cheese products available in bulk packaging.
Yes. Ornua Ingredients offers a line of reduced-fat, no-fat, and low sodium cheeses are available in almost any flavor and melt specification.
Ornua Ingredients welcomes customer visits and audits. Our food safety, HACCP and GMP programs are second-to-none in the industry. In addition to customer audits, Ornua Ingredients is audited by Silliker Labs each year, receiving its highest rating. Ornua Ingredients is also inspected regularly by BRC, the USDA, FDA, the military's VETCOM, state of Minnesota, and the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture. Ornua Ingredients is a USDA-approved facility.
We can create a custom kosher process cheese formula for you. Many of these will have cost advantages over natural kosher cheese.
If you have a question that is not on the list above, please contact us.