Cheese substitutes


  • cost
  • functionality
  • cholesterol
  • saturated fats
  • shelf life
  • real or perceived?
  • nutritional equivalency

Threat or Opportunity

  • dairy manufacturers in US believe the effect of substitutes is additive
  • use as extenders lowers price and increases consumption
  • some use substitutes for dietary reasons
  • it is the dairy companies producing substitutes not other food manufacturers

Varieties currently available in US

  • Cheddar - most popular
  • Mozzarella - industrial purposes, 60% used in pizza
  • Swiss
  • Colby
  • Gouda
  • Provolone
  • Process
  • Cream Cheese
  • Cheese Spreads

Types of Substitutes

Filled Cheeses

  • Skimmed milk and vegetable oils or blends of butter and vegetable oils
  • Unpopular because must work with low solids raw material

Cheese Analogues 

Synthetic: soya protein

soya oil



Partial Dairy: casein

soya oil



Dairy: casein

butter oil


Cheddar Cheese Substitute

Typical Formula

Ingredient % by weight
Sodium caseinate 13.0
Vegetable oil 25.0
Lactic Acid 1.0
Stabilizer/emulsifier 1.0
Salt 1.5
Flavour 1.5
Water 34.0
Cheddar Cheese 13.0


  1. Melt the fat (eg., a partly hydrogenated coconut oil of melting point 37C) raise the temperature to 70C.
  2. Add the stabilizer system. Proprietary blends are available from several suppliers.
  3. Blend the water into the oil with rapid agitation to form an emulsion.
  4. Slowly, add the calcium caseinate to the oil/water emulsion while the temperature is maintained at 70C. Then, blend in the sodium caseinate. Cheese texture will be begin to develop.
  5. Blend in Cheddar cheese and salt and then add the enzyme-modified cheese flavour.
  6. Add the acid together with a little annatto for colouring. The drop in pH has a dramatic effect on texture development.
  7. Fill moulds, cool to 5C and store overnight for flavour equilibration.