Saturday, November 17, 2018
 Fake Cheese Alarm  

When is cheese not cheese?

When it’s made from cheap, often non-dairy products and sold for a reduced price because of the poor world economy.

Dairy Australia strategy and knowledge manager Joanne Bills said the recent economic situation had forced some European retailers to turn to imitation cheese to maintain sales during the global financial crisis.

Ms Bills said manufacturers looking to cut costs sometimes extended natural cheese or processed cheddar by adding lower-priced ingredients.

Dairy Australia international analyst Michael Harvey said imitation or analog cheese was a growing competitor to ingredient cheese and had emerged as an issue for the European dairy sector.

He said the fake cheese, which was made from vegetable oil, casein, various flavors and salts had been around for a while, but started to grow in popularity due to the higher dairy price.

“It’s a cheaper alternative to buying mozzarella cheese,” Mr. Harvey said. “(And) on top of pizza, it’s less identifiable, I suppose.”

More than 20,000 tons of imitation cheese is estimated to be consumed in the European Union, representing less than in the EU and represented less than 1 per cent of the market.

“There’s a lot of speculation, no one knows for sure how much it is displacing (cheese), but it was a bit of a concern,” he said.

Mr. Harvey said the imitation cheese was especially popular in Germany but he had not heard of any consumer backlash about the product and did not expect it to take off in Australia because the cheese market was not big enough.

Source: PuraLeche

Posted on Sunday, December 27, 2009 (Archive on Sunday, January 03, 2010)
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