(a) Asiago fresh cheese, asiago soft cheese, is the food prepared from milk and other ingredients specified in this section, by the procedure set forth in paragraph (b) of this section, or by another procedure which produces a finished cheese having the same physical and chemical properties as the cheese produced when the procedure set forth in paragraph (b) of this section is used. It contains not more than 45 percent of moisture, and its solids contain not less than 50 percent of milkfat, as determined by the methods prescribed in 133.5 (a), (b), and (d). It is cured for not less than 60 days.
(b) Milk which may be pasteurized or clarified or both, and which may be warmed, is subjected to the action of harmless lactic-acid producing bacteria, present in such milk or added thereto. Harmless artificial blue or green coloring in a quantity which neutralizes any natural yellow coloring in the curd may be added. Sufficient rennet, or other safe and suitable milk-clotting enzyme that produces equivalent curd formation, or both, with or without purified calcium chloride in a quantity not more than 0.02 percent (calculated as anhydrous calcium chloride) of the weight of the milk, is added to set the milk to a semisolid mass. The mass is cut, stirred, and heated to promote and regulate separation of the whey from the curd. The whey is drained off. When the curd is sufficiently firm it is removed from the kettle or vat, further drained for a short time, packed into hoops, and pressed. The pressed curd is salted in brine and cured in a well-ventilated room. During curing the surface of the cheese is occasionally rubbed with a vegetable oil. A harmless preparation of enzymes of animal or plant origin capable of aiding in the curing or development of flavor of asiago fresh cheese may be added during the procedure in such quantity that the weight of the solids of such preparation is not more than 0.1 percent of the weight of the milk used.
(c)(1) For the purposes of this section, the word "milk" means cow's milk, which may be adjusted by separating part of the fat therefrom or by adding thereto one or more of the following: Cream, skim milk, concentrated skim milk, nonfat dry milk, water in a quantity sufficient to reconstitute any concentrated skim milk or nonfat dry milk used.
(2) Such milk may be bleached by the use of benzoyl peroxide or a mixture of benzoyl peroxide with potassium alum , calcium sulfate, and magnesium carbonate; but the weight of the benzoyl peroxide is not more than 0.002 percent of the weight of the milk bleached, and the weight of the potassium alum , calcium sulfate, and magnesium carbonate, singly or combined, is not more than six times the weight of the benzoyl peroxide used. If milk is bleached in this manner, sufficient vitamin A is added to the curd to compensate for the vitamin A or its precursors destroyed in the bleaching process, and artificial coloring is not used.
(d) Safe and suitable antimycotic agent(s), the cumulative levels of which shall not exceed current good manufacturing practice, may be added to the surface of the cheese.
(e) 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 enzymes of animal, plant, or microbial origin may be declared as "enzymes".