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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: 21CFR133.169]



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. 133.169 Pasteurized process cheese.

(a)(1) Pasteurized process cheese is the food prepared by comminuting and mixing, with the aid of heat, one or more cheeses of the same or two or more varieties, except cream cheese, neufchatel cheese, cottage cheese, lowfat cottage cheese, cottage cheese dry curd, cook cheese, hard grating cheese, semisoft part-skim cheese, part-skim spiced cheese, and skim milk cheese for manufacturing with an emulsifying agent prescribed by paragraph (c) of this section into a homogeneous plastic mass. One or more of the optional ingredients designated in paragraph (d) of this section may be used.

(2) During its preparation, pasteurized process cheese 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 is not more than 3 micrograms.

(3)(i) The moisture content of a pasteurized process cheese made from a single variety of cheese is not more than 1 percent greater than the maximum moisture content prescribed by the definition and standard of identity, if any there be, for the variety of cheese used; but in no case is more than 43 percent, except that the moisture content of pasteurized process washed curd cheese or pasteurized process colby cheese is not more than 40 percent; the moisture content of pasteurized process swiss cheese or pasteurized process gruyere cheese is not more than 44 percent; and the moisture content of pasteurized process limburger cheese is not more than 51 percent.

(ii) The fat content of the solids of a pasteurized process cheese made from a single variety of cheese is not less than the minimum prescribed by the definition and standard of identity, if any there be, for the variety of cheese used, but in no case is less than 47 percent; except that the fat content of the solids of pasteurized process swiss cheese is not less than 43 percent, and the fat content of the solids of pasteurized process gruyere cheese is not less than 45 percent.

(4)(i) The moisture content of a pasteurized process cheese made from two or more varieties of cheese is not more than 1 percent greater than the arithmetical average of the maximum moisture contents prescribed by the definitions and standards of identity, if any there be, for the varieties of cheese used; but in no case is the moisture content more than 43 percent, except that the moisture content of a pasteurized process cheese made from two or more of the varieties cheddar cheese, washed curd cheese, colby cheese, and granular cheese is not more than 40 percent, and the moisture content of a mixture of swiss cheese and gruyere cheese is not more than 44 percent.

(ii) The fat content of the solids of a pasteurized process cheese made from two or more varieties of cheese is not less than the arithmetical average of the minimum fat contents prescribed by the definitions and standards of identity, if any there be, for the varieties of cheese used, but in no case is less than 47 percent, except that the fat content of the solids of a pasteurized process gruyere cheese made from a mixture of swiss cheese and gruyere cheese is not less than 45 percent.

(5) Moisture and fat are determined by the methods prescribed in 133.5(a), (b), and (d).

(6) The weight of each variety of cheese in a pasteurized process cheese made from 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, or gorgonzola cheese is not less than 10 percent of the total weight of both, and the weight of limburger cheese is not less than 5 percent of the total weight of both. The weight of each variety of cheese in a pasteurized process cheese made from 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, or gorgonzola cheese is not less than 5 percent of the total weight of all, and the weight of limburger cheese is not less than 3 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 (e)(2)(ii) of this section. Such mixtures are considered as one variety of cheese for the purposes of this paragraph (a)(6).

(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 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 emulsifying agent referred to in paragraph (a) of this section is 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.

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

(1) 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 is not below 5.3.

(2) Cream, anhydrous milkfat, dehydrated cream, or any combination of two or more of these, in such quantity that the weight of the fat derived therefrom is less than 5 percent of the weight of the pasteurized process cheese.

(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 a cheese of any age or variety.

(7) Pasteurized process cheese 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 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.

(e) The name of a pasteurized process cheese for which a definition and standard of identity is prescribed by this section is as follows:

(1) In case it is made from a single variety of cheese, its name is "Pasteurized process ___ cheese", the blank being filled in with the name of the variety of cheese used.

(2) In case it is made from two or more varieties of cheese, its name is "Pasteurized process ___ and ___ cheese", or "Pasteurized process ___ blended with ___ cheese", or "Pasteurized process blend of ___ and ___ cheese", the blanks being filled in with the names of the varieties of cheeses used, in order of predominance by weight; except that:

(i) In case it is made from gruyere cheese and swiss cheese, and the weight of gruyere cheese is not less than 25 percent of the weight of both, it may be designated "Pasteurized process gruyere cheese"; and

(ii) In case it is made of cheddar cheese, washed curd cheese, colby cheese, or granular cheese or any mixture of two or more of these, it may be designated "Pasteurized process American cheese"; or when cheddar cheese, washed curd cheese, colby cheese, granular cheese, or any mixture of two or more of these is combined with other varieties of cheese in the cheese ingredient, any of such cheeses or such mixture may be designated as "American cheese".

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 (g) 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.

(f) 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.

(g) 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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