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International Dairy Journal 11 (2001) 505–515
Cheese analogues: a review
Hans-Peter Bachmann*
Swiss Federal Dairy Research Station, Liebefeld, Berne, Switzerland
Abstract
Cheese analogues are usually defined as products made by blending individual constituents, including non-dairy fats or proteins,
to produce a cheese-like product to meet specific requirements. They are being used increasingly due to their cost-effectiveness,
attributable to the simplicity of their manufacture and the replacement of selected milk ingredients by cheaper vegetable products.
Sales of cheese analogues are closely linked to developments in the convenience food sector, where they extend the supply and lower
the cost. Moreover, there is an ever-increasing interest among consumers in food products which contain less total fat, saturated fat,
cholesterol, and calories.
Development of cheese analogues involves the use of fat and/or protein sources other than those native to milk, together with a
flavour system simulating as closely as possible that of the natural product. It is also necessary to develop a suitable processing
regime capable of combining these elements to provide the required textural and functional properties. Cheese analogues may be
regarded as engineered products.
Cheese analogues represent little threat to the continued consumption of natural cheeses: Their major role at present is
undoubtedly in the cost-cutting exercises of pizza manufacturers. The dairy industry has to take the view that imitation products are
the result of developments in product technology and market demand. Thus not to get involved would mean curtailment of product
innovation and market opportunities. r 2001 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.
Keywords: Cheese analogues; Proteins; Fats; Ingredients; Processing regime; Texture; Melting properties; Flavour; Review
1. Introduction
The growth in the ready meals sector in recent years had
been reflected in the increase in the demand for cheese as a
food ingredient. Shredded, diced, sliced, and even liquid
cheese has been developed to meet the needs of the modern
food industry, as convenience foods continue to grow in
popularity (Anonymous, 1999). Sales of cheese analogues
are closely linked to developments in the convenience food
sector (Anonymous, 1989). Cheese analogues are being
used increasingly due to their cost-effectiveness, attributable to the simplicity of their manufacture and the
replacement of selected milk ingredients by cheaper
vegetable products (Eymery & Pangborn, 1988). Cheese
analogues extend the supply and lower the cost (Ahmed,
Hassan, Salama, & Enb, 1995).
*Correspondence address: Schwarzenburgstrasse 161, 3003 Berne,
Switzerland. Fax: +41-31-323-82-27.
E-mail address: [email protected]
(H.-P. Bachmann).
Unfortunately, lack of any detailed statistics makes it
impossible to indicate what the total importance of
cheese analogues on the world dairy market actually is
(Anonymous, 1989). A substantial market has developed in the United States, particularly for industrial
food uses where, because of the large quantity processed, the price difference with natural cheese is a
decisive factor (Anonymous, 1989; Shaw, 1984). The
major application is in compounded or formulated
foods manufactured by catering or industrial establishments. The usage level of cheese analogues in the US has
remained fairly stable, with the majority of production
being mozzarella for use on pizza (McNutt, 1989). In
terms of typical usage, the EU market is strikingly
similar to the US. However, there are differences in
Europe, for example, the cheese analogue market is
almost non-existent (Hoogenkamp, 1996). It is a
commonly held view in the United States that the
introduction of cheese analogues has had rather an
additive effect on the overall cheese market rather than
the products being used as direct replacements for
natural cheese (Shaw, 1984).
0958-6946/01/$ - see front matter r 2001 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.
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506
H.-P. Bachmann / International Dairy Journal 11 (2001) 505–515
Cheese analogues have gained importance in different
areas. Firstly, largely because of a tremendous increase
in the consumption of pizza pie and the fact that cheese
is among the costliest components of a pizza pie,
attention has focused on the development of cheese
substitutes. In addition, the manufacture of an imitation
cheese allows manufacturers greater scope in manipulating constituents toward nutritional, textural, and
economic ends. A wide variety of formulated imitation
cheeses in which non-fat milk solids and milk fat are
replaced by caseinates and vegetable oils are available in
the US (Kiely, McConnell, & Kindstedt, 1991). Secondly, due to rapidly increasing prices cheese is being
gradually priced out of lower income groups. Making
cheese-like products by substituting the higher priced
milk-derived ingredients with lower priced ingredients
from vegetable sources may be a possible solution for
this economic problem (Guirguis, Abdel Baky, ElNeshawy, & El-Shafy, 1985). The cost of producing
cheese analogues can be considerably less than that of
their natural counterparts. As well as savings in the
manufacturing process, raw materials are considerably
cheaper than milk (Shaw, 1984). Thirdly, the short
supply of milk production in some parts of the world
has led to increased interest in the utilisation of
substitute ingredients from vegetable sources in producing some dairy analogues (Ahmed et al., 1995; McNutt,
1989). In developing countries where dairy products are
expensive and insufficient in quantity, dairy substitutes
prepared from legumes provide a nutritious alternative
(Santos, Resurreccion, & Garcia, 1989). Fourthly, there
is an ever-increasing interest among consumers in food
products which contain less total fat, saturated fat,
cholesterol, and calories. Such products are useful in
controlling body weight and reducing the risk of heart
and artery disease (Kong-Chan, Hellyer, & Tafuri, 1991;
Mortensen & McCarthy, 1991).
The review is rather phenomenological. The basic
relationship between the composition and the functional
properties of the analogues types is not fully elaborated.
The scientist, who looks for detailed information to
understand the physical properties of cheese analogues
related to their structure, will have to investigate the