MoistureFatpH% CheeseIngredients Allowed
American and most Process Cheeses
 50% FDM
 5.3Not defined, but highCheese, Water, Cream, Emulsifiers, Acid, Salt, EMC

Cheese Food
As above, plus milk, whey, and skim cheese

Cheese Spread44-60% 20%
As above, plus gums, stabilizers, nisin

Cheese Sauce, Product, or StyleNo StandardsNo Standards
No Standards
No Standards
No Standards

Pasteurized Process Cheese is a blend of natural cheese, real dairy ingredients, and an emulsifying salt.  The ingredients are combined during a cooking process resulting in a product that has an extended shelf life, enhanced safety and many functional characteristics.  There are several types of process cheese based on standards that are regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.  Classification is based upon the amount of moisture, fat, pH, cheese and other ingredients in the finished product.

The table below shows the standards set by the FDA for different types of cheese.

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