Cheese is made from milk sourced from a wide range of animals such as cows, sheep, goats, horses, camels, water buffalo, and even reindeer and yaks. To expedite the curdling process of the milk, ingredients such as rennet, lactic acid, or even plant extracts are used. Rennet is the curdled milk from the stomach of an unweaned calf, containing rennin. Cheese producers who wish to avoid using rennet encourage bacterial growth necessary for curdling use enzymes collected from vegetable or fruit sources such as fig leaves, melons, Safflower, and wild thistles.
As a dairy product, cheese is valued for its portability, long life, and high fat, protein, calcium, and phosphorus content. Cheese is more compact in terms of need for space and has a longer shelf life than milk. The shelf life of cheese depends on the type of cheese. Hard cheeses such as parmesan lasts longer than soft cheeses such as Brie or goat milk cheese.
Processed cheese is made from natural cheese with added emulsifiers, salt, whey, saturated vegetable oil, and food coloring. Processed cheese is available in various forms, flavors, and textures. This not only enables manufacturers to reduce the cost of processed cheese by adding cheaper ingredients, but also allows different cheeses to be mixed to produce specific flavor profiles as per demand and popularity.
Some processed cheese products come in a tube, as spreadable cheese spreads, cheese strings, slices etc. Also, processed cheese tends to have properties that natural or regular cheese does not such as being dosed from a tube or dipped into.
Major factors driving growth of the global processed cheese market are advantages such as longer shelf life and lower meltability etc., as compared to natural/unprocessed cheese. In addition, rising demand for dairy products and ready to eat food, and other cheese-rich snacks and meals is fueling growth of the global processed cheese market to a significant extent.
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Processed cheese is widely available, but it accounts for only one-third of the cheeses being produced globally. Most cheeses are produced in large factories, but a majority is still being made using natural methods. Cheeses that are made the “farmhouse” way have been making a comeback in recent years and are primarily popular among connoisseurs. This is also a trend that is evolving or being revived in various countries, especially those in Europe and North America. A shift in preference from processed cheese to traditional cheeses being offered by local producers is expected to impact demand for processed cheese steadily into the future.
Furthermore, addition of food coloring agents and other ingredients to enhance flavors can cause potential health hazards in some consumers. Saturated fat in cheese is relatively high, and cheese is known to instigate weight gain. Apart from causing weight gain, saturated fat is also known to affect the cardiovascular system and influence cholesterol levels, which can be a bad for health. Rising health concerns related to potential disadvantages of cheese is expected to result in a dip in demand, but this would not significantly affect growth of the global processed cheese market in the next ten years.
Key plaeyrs operating in the global market include SAVENCIA SA, Bright Food Global, Fonterra Foodservice, The Kraft Heinz Company, Arla Foods amba, Uhrenholt A/S, PT. Mulia Boga Raya (PROCHIZ), Devondale Murray Goulburn, PT Diamond Cold Storage Indonesia, Fromageries Bel SA, Groupe Lactalis S.A., Alba Cheese Manufacturing Pty Ltd., Koninklijke ERU Kaasfabriek BV, and LAÏTA