New York-based IFF launched a new dairy processing system, CHOOZIT VINTAGE for the U.S. and Canadian markets. The cheese culture is designed to help cheddar cheese manufacturers overcome undesirable flavor development during aging to streamline cheesemaking processes and achieve the consistent flavors and textures that consumers love.

With growing economic uncertainty, consumers are now opting for products that are affordable, convenient and versatile. Cheese brands have ample room to leverage this, positioning cheese as adaptable to a variety of consumer needs, with a wide range of applications from table cheddar and snack packs to culinary haute cuisine and gourmet burger slices.

According to Statista, around 3.93 billion pounds of cheddar cheese were produced in the United States from 2004 to 2021. The burgeoning U.S. cheese market is projected to grow from $40.73 billion in 2022 to $55.95 billion by 2029 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.6%, Fortune Business Insights reports. 

Additionally, the demand for cheddar — it ranks No. 1 — is increasing among consumers seeking snackable, flavorful, affordable dairy-based cheeses, Mintel states. 

“CHOOZIT VINTAGE is an easy-to-use culture that helps manufacturers overcome undesirable flavor development such as bitterness during aging, delivering highly reliable pH and texture results throughout the ripening process,” says Annie Mornet, senior global product manager for cheese, IFF. “Our extensive trials have demonstrated an increase in savory notes with CHOOZIT VINTAGE. Cheddar cheese manufacturers can now be confident in achieving consistent, well-balanced flavors and a smooth, clean-cut texture in every batch.”  

Mornet notes that production of aged cheddar cheese can be challenging with such common issues as bitterness, gas and crystal formation. Color and textural defects also can prevent manufacturers from maximizing process efficiency and improvement, cheese yield and whey quality. This makes it difficult to ensure high product standards that meet the expectations of increasingly discerning cheddar cheese consumers. In addition, when manufacturers try to differentiate their products with added functionalities, they face issues with savory flavor profiles and shelf-keeping qualities.

Leveraging its biotechnology know-how and extensive research, IFF brings its technical expertise and innovative capabilities together, providing a solution to improve cheddar cheese production processes. The high-performing starter culture range featuring seven rotations of blended mesophilic and thermophilic direct-to-vat cultures for producing great-quality, American-style cheddar, the company says.