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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 Mar 22, 2024.

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]
[CITE: 21CFR133.106]



Subpart B - Requirements for Specific Standardized Cheese and Related Products

Sec. 133.106 Blue cheese.

(a) Description. (1) Blue cheese is the food prepared by the procedure set forth in paragraph (a)(2), of this section, or by any other procedure which produces a finished cheese having the same physical and chemical properties. It is characterized by the presence of bluish-green mold, Penicillium roquefortii, throughout the cheese. The minimum milkfat content is 50 percent by weight of the solids and the maximum moisture content is 46 percent by weight, as determined by the methods described in § 133.5. The dairy ingredients used may be pasteurized. Blue cheese is at least 60 days old.

(2) One or more of the dairy ingredients specified in paragraph (b)(1) of this section may be homogenized, bleached, warmed, 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 cut into smaller portions and allowed to stand for a time. The mixed curd and whey is placed in forms permitting further drainage. While the curd is being placed in forms, spores of the mold Penicillium roquefortii are added. The forms are turned several times during drainage. When sufficiently drained, the shaped curd is removed from the forms and salted with dry salt or brine. Perforations are then made in the shaped curd, and it is held at a temperature of approximately 50 deg.F. at 90 to 95 percent relative humidity, until the characteristic mold growth has developed. During storage the surface of the cheese may be scraped to remove surface growth of undesirable microorganisms. Antimycotics may be applied to the surface of the whole cheese. 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) Blue or green color in an amount to neutralize the natural yellow color of the curd.

(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 origin, used in curing or flavor development.

(iv) Antimycotic agents, applied to the surface of slices or cuts in consumer-sized packages or to the surface of the bulk cheese during curing.

(v) Benzoyl peroxide or a mixture of benzoyl peroxide with potassium alum, calcium sulfate, and magnesium carbonate used to bleach the dairy ingredients. The weight of the benzoyl peroxide is not more than 0.002 percent of the weight of the milk being 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, vitamin A is added to the curd in such quantity as to compensate for the vitamin A or its precursors destroyed in the bleaching process, and artificial coloring is not used.

(vi) Vegetable fats or oils, which may be hydrogenated, used as a coating for the rind.

(c) Nomenclature. The name of the food is "blue 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 of predominance, by the use of the terms "milkfat and nonfat milk" or "nonfat milk and milkfat", as appropriate.

[48 FR 2742, Jan. 21, 1983, as amended at 54 FR 32052, Aug. 4, 1989; 58 FR 2892, Jan. 6, 1993]