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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

CFR - Code of Federal Regulations Title 21

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The information on this page is current as of April 1 2015.

For the most up-to-date version of CFR Title 21, go to the Electronic Code of Federal Regulations (eCFR).

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Help | More About 21CFR
[Code of Federal Regulations]
[Title 21, Volume 2]
[Revised as of April 1, 2015]
[CITE: 21CFR133.173]



TITLE 21--FOOD AND DRUGS
CHAPTER I--FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES
SUBCHAPTER B--FOOD FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION

PART 133 -- CHEESES AND RELATED CHEESE PRODUCTS

Subpart B--Requirements for Specific Standardized Cheese and Related Products

Sec. 133.173 Pasteurized process cheese food.

(a)(1) A pasteurized process cheese food is the food prepared by comminuting and mixing, with the aid of heat, one or more of the optional cheese ingredients prescribed in paragraph (c) of this section, with one or more of the optional dairy ingredients prescribed in paragraph (d) of this section, into a homogeneous plastic mass. One or more of the optional ingredients specified in paragraph (e) of this section may be used.

(2) During its preparation, a pasteurized process cheese food is heated for not less than 30 seconds, at a temperature of not less than 150 deg. F. When tested for phosphatase by the method prescribed in 133.5(c), the phenol equivalent of 0.25 gram of pasteurized process cheese food is not more than 3 micrograms.

(3) The moisture content of a pasteurized process cheese food is not more than 44 percent, and the fat content is not less than 23 percent.

(4) Moisture and fat are determined by the methods prescribed in 133.5(a) and (b), except that in determining moisture the loss in weight which occurs in drying for 5 hours, under the conditions prescribed in such method, is taken as the weight of the moisture.

(5) The weight of the cheese ingredient prescribed by paragraph (a)(1) of this section constitutes not less than 51 percent of the weight of the finished pasteurized process cheese food.

(6) The weight of each variety of cheese in a pasteurized process cheese food made with two varieties of cheese is not less than 25 percent of the total weight of both, except that the weight of blue cheese, nuworld cheese, roquefort cheese, gorgonzola cheese, or limburger cheese is not less than 10 percent of the total weight of both. The weight of each variety of cheese in a pasteurized process cheese food made with three or more varieties of cheese is not less than 15 percent of the total weight of all, except that the weight of blue cheese, nuworld cheese, roquefort cheese, gorgonzola cheese, or limburger cheese is not less than 5 percent of the total weight of all. These limits do not apply to the quantity of cheddar cheese, washed curd cheese, colby cheese, and granular cheese in mixtures which are designated as "American cheese" as prescribed in paragraph (h)(5) of this section. Such mixtures are considered as one variety of cheese for the purposes of this subparagraph.

(7) For the purposes of this section, cheddar cheese for manufacturing, washed curd cheese for manufacturing, colby cheese for manufacturing, granular cheese for manufacturing, brick cheese for manufacturing, muenster cheese for manufacturing, and swiss cheese for manufacturing are considered as cheddar cheese, washed curd cheese, colby cheese, granular cheese, brick cheese, muenster cheese, and swiss cheese, respectively.

(b) Pasteurized process cheese food may be smoked, or the cheese or cheeses from which it is made may be smoked, before comminuting and mixing, or it may contain substances prepared by condensing or precipitating wood smoke.

(c) The optional cheese ingredients referred to in paragraph (a) of this section are one or more cheeses of the same or two or more varieties, except cream cheese, neufchatel cheese, cottage cheese, creamed cottage cheese, cook cheese, and skim-milk cheese for manufacturing, and except that hard grating cheese, semisoft part skim cheese, and part-skim spiced cheese are not used alone or in combination with each other as the cheese ingredient.

(d) The optional dairy ingredients referred to in paragraph (a) of this section are cream, milk, skim milk, buttermilk, cheese whey, any of the foregoing from which part of the water has been removed, anhydrous milkfat, dehydrated cream, albumin from cheese whey, and skim milk cheese for manufacturing.

(e) The other optional ingredients referred to in paragraph (a) of this section are:

(1) An emulsifying agent consisting of one or any mixture of two or more of the following: Monosodium phosphate, disodium phosphate, dipotassium phosphate, trisodium phosphate, sodium metaphosphate (sodium hexametaphosphate), sodium acid pyrophosphate, tetrasodium pyrophosphate, sodium aluminum phosphate, sodium citrate, potassium citrate, calcium citrate, sodium tartrate, and sodium potassium tartrate, in such quantity that the weight of the solids of such emulsifying agent is not more than 3 percent of the weight of the pasteurized process cheese food.

(2) An acidifying agent consisting of one or any mixture of two or more of the following: A vinegar, lactic acid, citric acid, acetic acid, and phosphoric acid in such quantity that the pH of the pasteurized process cheese food is not below 5.0.

(3) Water.

(4) Salt.

(5) Harmless artificial coloring.

(6) Spices or flavorings other than any which singly or in combination with other ingredients simulate the flavor of cheese of any age or variety.

(7) Pasteurized process cheese food in the form of slices or cuts in consumer-sized packages may contain an optional mold-inhibiting ingredient consisting of not more than 0.2 percent by weight of sorbic acid, potassium sorbate, sodium sorbate, or any combination of two or more of these, or consisting of not more than 0.3 percent by weight of sodium propionate, calcium propionate, or a combination of sodium propionate and calcium propionate.

(8) Pasteurized process cheese food in the form of slices or cuts in consumer-sized packages may contain lecithin as an optional anti-sticking agent in an amount not to exceed 0.03 percent by weight of the finished product.

(9) Safe and suitable enzyme modified cheese.

(f) The name of the food is "Pasteurized process cheese food". The full name of the food shall appear on the principal display panel of the label in type of uniform size, style, and color. Wherever any word or statement emphasizing the name of any ingredient appears on the label (other than in an ingredient statement as specified in paragraph (h) of this section) so conspicuously as to be easily seen under customary conditions of purchase, the full name of the food shall immediately and conspicuously precede or follow such word or statement in type of at least the same size as the type used in such word or statement.

(g) The name of the food shall include a declaration of any flavoring, including smoke and substances prepared by condensing or precipitating wood smoke, that characterizes the product as specified in 101.22 of this chapter and a declaration of any spice that characterizes the product.

(h) Each of the ingredients used in the food shall be declared on the label as required by the applicable sections of parts 101 and 130 of this chapter, except that cheddar cheese, washed curd cheese, colby cheese, granular cheese, or any mixture of two or more of these may be designated as "American cheese".

[42 FR 14366, Mar. 15, 1977, as amended at 49 FR 10095, Mar. 19, 1984; 58 FR 2894, Jan. 6, 1993]

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