(a) Description. (1) Cheddar cheese is the food prepared by the procedure set forth in paragraph (a)(3) of this section, or by any other procedure which produces a finished cheese having the same physical and chemical properties. The minimum milkfat content is 50 percent by weight of the solids, and the maximum moisture content is 39 percent by weight, as determined by the methods described in 133.5. If the dairy ingredients used are not pasteurized, the cheese is cured at a temperature of not less than 35 deg. F for at least 60 days.
(2) If pasteurized dairy ingredients are used, the phenol equivalent value of 0.25 gram of cheddar cheese is not more than 3 micrograms as determined by the method described in 133.5.
(3) One or more of the dairy ingredients specified in paragraph (b)(1) of this section may be warmed, treated with hydrogen peroxide/catalase, and is subjected to the action of a lactic acid-producing bacterial culture. One or more of the clotting enzymes specified in paragraph (b)(2) of this section is added to set the dairy ingredients to a semisolid mass. The mass is so cut, stirred, and heated with continued stirring, as to promote and regulate the separation of whey and curd. The whey is drained off, and the curd is matted into a cohesive mass. The mass is cut into slabs, which are so piled and handled as to promote the drainage of whey and the development of acidity. The slabs are then cut into pieces, which may be rinsed by sprinkling or pouring water over them, with free and continuous drainage; but the duration of such rinsing is so limited that only the whey on the surface of such pieces is removed. The curd is salted, stirred, further drained, and pressed into forms. One or more of the other optional ingredients specified in paragraph (b)(3) of this section may be added during the procedure.
(b) Optional ingredients. The following safe and suitable ingredients may be used:
(1) Dairy ingredients. Milk, nonfat milk, or cream, as defined in 133.3, used alone or in combination.
(2) Clotting enzymes. Rennet and/or other clotting enzymes of animal, plant, or microbial origin.
(3) Other optional ingredients. (i) Coloring.
(ii) Calcium chloride in an amount not more than 0.02 percent (calculated as anhydrous calcium chloride) of the weight of the dairy ingredients, used as a coagulation aid.
(iii) Enzymes of animal, plant, or microbial orgin, used in curing or flavor development.
(iv) Antimycotic agents, applied to the surface of slices or cuts in consumer-sized packages.
(v) Hydrogen peroxide, followed by a sufficient quantity of catalase preparation to eliminate the hydrogen peroxide. The weight of the hydrogen peroxide shall not exceed 0.05 percent of the weight of the milk and the weight of the catalase shall not exceed 20 parts per million of the weight of the milk treated.
(c) Nomenclature. The name of the food is "cheddar cheese".
(d) Label declaration. 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:
(1) Enzymes of animal, plant, or microbial origin may be declared as "enzymes"; and
(2) The dairy ingredients may be declared, in descending order or predominance, by the use of the terms "milkfat and nonfat milk" or "nonfat milk and milkfat", as appropriate.
[48 FR 2743, Jan. 21, 1983; 48 FR 11426, Mar. 18, 1983, as amended at 58 FR 2892, Jan. 6, 1993]