5 Things You Need to Know About Carrageenan in Cream Cheese
1. What is Cream Cheese
Most of us are familiar with cream cheese (or processed cheese / sliced and spreadable cheese), which is loved for its smooth and creamy texture. The history of cream cheese dates back to seventeenth-century France. It believed that this type of cheese has also been used in England since the eighteenth century. However, in the case of the United States, cream cheese is said to be prepared for the first time, in 1872. The credit for this goes to the American dairyman William Lawrence. Later, the American food processing company called 'Kraft foods' started producing and marketing this product under the brand name 'Philadelphia'.
As per the FDA, cream cheese is defined as a soft white cheese with a minimum of 33% milk fat content and a maximum of 55% moisture content. Even the pH range of this cheese has to be between 4.4 to 4.9. Nowadays, you may find cream cheese in many different versions including the low fat and no fat varieties. These include solid blocks that are packed in foils and creamy spreads in containers. The later versions can be spread easily, even if it is kept inside the refrigerator. This is achieved by whipping in the air in the cheese. Cream cheese differs from most of the other cheese types, as it is not matured and is meant for fresh use with a shorter shelf life.
2. Essential Ingredients-Carrageenan in Cream Cheese
Being a dairy product, it can be inferred that cream is made of milk. Pasteurized and homogenized cow's milk is primarily used for this purpose. Cheese culture like lactic acid bacteria is added to this milk, for fermentation. This mixture is heated to the right temperature and is further processed to produce cream cheese. This is the basic method of cream cheese preparation.
Apart from milk and cheese culture, commercial cream cheese contains various other additives and preservatives.
This includes salt and stabilizers, like carrageenan gum. Some of the latest versions of cream cheese contain different flavorings like that of fruits, herbs, salmon, etc.
3. Growing Trend
During the last few years, fast foods and convenience dishes containing processed cheese have achieved an enormous market penetration, due not only to their accessible cost, availability and ease of use, but also due to the fact that the processed cheese included endows them with a unique function such which turns these plates into a whole experience.
Processed cheese is obtained through a mix of natural cheeses, subjected to heat, in order to meet with melting salts. The product obtained is placed into molds and cooled. This simple process enables to create “customer‘s tailor suit "which may be grated or sliced, gratinated or melted completely. They may also be designed to cover special diet needs, for example, products low in calories, lactose-free, low in saturated fats, cholesterol-free, including nutraceutical ingredients, among others.
4. Current Situation
However, in most cases, the simple combination of cheeses does not render the function. It becomes necessary to resort to stabilizing systems,
mainly based upon carrageenan,
which contribute the necessary firmness towards slicing, grating or spreading; reduce the adherence and/or caking, prevent the migration of fat and water, provide creaminess and in general improve the sensory qualities of the product.
5. Homemade Cream Cheese
Even though cream cheese is available in the market in various versions, you may prepare this dairy product at home too
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Even though cream cheese is nutritious, moderate use is always recommended.
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With our variety of gelling/stabilizing systems, we can create tailor-made solutions perfectly matched to the needs of our customers.
We are a biotech company specialized in the research, development and commercialization of innovative and technological food additives hydrocolloids Agar Agar, Carrageenan and Tailor-Made Stabilizer Solutions.
With the extended know-how and experience in the research, application and use of Hydrocolloids, we could provide one-stop-shop customized solutions perfectly matched to the needs of our customers.
Our products cover the needs of the Meat, Dairy, Bakery, Confectionery, and other industrial sectors.