Designing cheese properties

Designing cheese properties
to meet tomorrow’s
consumer demands


  • By adding expert knowledge and innovation

Customized cheese properties
Specialty starch solutions from our CheeseMaker range build texture and enable you to customize your products. At KMC, we have specialized in cheese alternatives and have built a profound understanding of the various ingredients used (natural cheese, dairy powders, emulsifying salts, starches etc.), their interactions and the different process equipment. We look forward to sharing our knowledge with you and develop a cheese solution that meets both the requirements in your specific market as well as your own targets.
Cheese alternatives serve a wide range of purposes and can have different properties regarding texture, meltability, shelf life, stability etc. Where natural cheese has its limitations in terms of properties and processing, imitation cheese and processed cheese products can be designed to overcome these constraints and achieve a product with improved features.

Consumers demand low prices for their food, while ingredient prices show a steady increase due to raw material shortage. Therefore, producers need to reformulate their recipes to the more cost-effective solutions. This includes an optimization of formulas and processing conditions without compromising quality.
Milk proteins, such as rennet casein, caseinate or milk powder, are expensive ingredients in formulas. You can easily replace them with CheeseMaker starches to obtain a cost-effective solution. Replace a few percent of milk proteins or go for a completely dairy-free solution with some of the CheeseMaker solutions.
You can also combine recipes that contain natural cheese with CheeseMaker starches, which will result in high quality products, such as cheese loaves or slices for use in sandwiches and snacks. Thus, producers of processed cheese can easily extend their production, especially if natural cheese has been a limiting factor.

Easy to implement
Easy processing ensures a cost-effective solution with reduced energy costs and short process times. Implementing CheeseMaker solutions is simple and there is no need for changing your equipment. During processing, the viscosity is controllable, and the product is easily pumped and filled into containers or foil. During cooling and storage at refrigerated temperatures, the cheese will develop its final texture.
The CheeseMaker solution range covers different types of concepts in the following paragraphs:

Imitation block cheese
Cheese is a popular ingredient in hot dishes. Depending on the dish, you require a cheese with specific melting properties. On a pizza, consumers expect a cheese that melts easily, has a stretchy appearance and a chewy texture. In a cordon bleu, medium melting is desirable whereas in other applications, no melting may be preferred.
The melting properties of the cheese are influenced by how the cheese is applied to the dish – e.g. on top of a pizza or as a treat inside a food product. Also, different types of ovens, from very hot conveyor belt ovens in the industry to microwave ovens in private homes and offices will influence the meltability of the cheese product. Finally, the ingredients in the imitation cheese play a major role.

CheeseMaker solutions can partially replace milk proteins, such as rennet casein, resulting in a cost-effective solution. Our range of CheeseMakerBL solutions is designed to give different melting properties and makes it possible to customize the recipe to your specific preference.

Imitation cheese slices
Sliced cheese is popular in warm preparations like sandwiches or beef burgers, where the cheese is supposed to soften slightly upon heating. You can sell slices as individually wrapped slices (IWS) or “Singles”. Sliceability and flexibility are important properties of imitation cheese slices, while degree of melting is customizable for your needs. It is possible to replace milk proteins or natural cheese with CheeseMaker starches without compromising the preferred product properties. During processing, you can design the viscosity to your needs, which makes the CheeseMaker starches very suitable for these products.

Imitation parmesan cheese
Hard cheeses, such as parmesan cheese or Grana Padano, are expensive, because they require a long maturation time and high amount of milk solids. Consumers often apply hard cheese to hot items such as soups, pasta and casseroles upon serving. KMC has developed recipes using a CheeseMaker solution in natural cheese, rennet casein or plant based. These formulations have a short production time and no maturation time, which makes this imitation parmesan cheese a very cost-effective alternative.
A hard cheese alternative must have a firm and, for some applications, even crumbly texture. It must be possible to grate the product on even the finest section of a grater without any smear on the grater surface.

White cheese
Feta-style cheese or white cheese are versatile ingredients in salads, savoury dishes and sweet bakery products. Our CheeseMaker will give you an imitation white cheese that is soft and creamy with just enough syneresis to let it slip from the package.
We have streamlined the process and reduced the number of process steps to a minimum. Skip expensive and time-consuming process steps, such as homogenization and small-scale dosage of GDL and rennet that require skilled labor and additional investment in equipment. We suggest a very simple and fast all-in-one method that only requires a high-speed cooker. You can do the mixing and heating in one-step, and there is no need for subsequent cooling, since we do not add rennet. Instead, you fill the mass of imitation cheese directly into the desired packaging while it is still hot. This increases the shelf life of the product. A short process time reduces energy costs and ensures a cost- effective solution.

Spreadable cheese products
Cheese spread is a popular product for snacking, dipping or simply spreading on a slice of bread. Some consumers like the creamy flavour and smooth texture, however, consumers have different preferences and traditions, and product properties must be adapted to meet these. Whether you want solutions for foil-wrapped cheese portions, spreadable processed cheese in tubs or cream cheese, KMC can supply you with a solution.
You will find KMC’s innovative solutions for spreadable cheese products in the SP product series, which is chosen based on the recipe, process and desired end product properties.

Plant based solutions
Cheese lovers that for any reason do not eat traditional cheese, look for plant-based options to add a savory note to their food. Dairy proteins, however, are important for texture building and fat emulsification. Product developers will find solutions that meet these requirements in the CheeseMaker CF series. KMC can supply dairy free solutions for all cheese application whether you are looking for cream cheese, white cheese, parmesan type, slices or pizza cheese.

Potato-based starch solutions
CheeseMaker solutions are potato-based, which guarantees a neutral taste and a white colour. This makes it easy to add additional flavour and colour. All CheeseMaker specialty starches are non-GMO, gluten-free and kosher and halal certified, which will satisfy many consumers that for religious or health-related reasons choose their food items carefully.
Consumers require simple ingredient labels that are easy to understand and do not contain ingredients perceived as unnatural, chemical or unrecognisable. Generally, the process of clean labelling is recognized as removing all artificial food additives and E-numbers and creating a healthier nutrient profile, e.g. by reducing fat and salt. Even though most of the CheeseMaker products are modified potato starches, CheeseMaker BL110 is declarable as “potato starch” according to EU legislation. Within the modified CheeseMaker products, KMC utilize different types of modification of the starches to give the right performance in the final product. The most common are acetylation, cross-linking and oxidation. Later research has shown that bleaching combined with cross-linking and/or acetylation gives certain new functionalities in imitation cheese and other food products.

Gain speed with KMC as product development partner
With KMC as your development partner, you gain access to years of market knowhow, research and trials with imitation cheese. Our commercial and technical sales team are competent and agile decision makers and travel around the world to work with you. We guide you to the right ingredients and process equipment and we assist you in pilot scale trials and upscaling in your factory. At the headquarters in Denmark, KMC Food Innovation Centre provides excellent opportunities to produce cheese samples, imitate different production parameters, screen different starch blends and other ingredients, evaluate imitation cheese on meltability and texture and – and last but not least – develop customized concepts together with customers.

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