Background: Although the consumption of processed foods is growing in overseas markets, the increased awareness of consumers to health and wellbeing in recent years has led to a decline in the growth of processed food sales in the Western market. The added pressure on the food manufacturing industry to increase the perceived healthiness of processed foods has opened up new market potential in the area of fortified processed foods, such as processed cheeses. Scope and approach: This review paper provides an overview of the current methodologies into the production of a processed cheese with added health benefits, including the use of probiotics and prebiotics, vitamin and mineral fortification and the addition of plant macromolecules. Key findings and conclusions: Processed cheeses with increased health benefits have been of great interest to manufacturers, with reduced salt and reduced fat options commercially available. Although processed cheeses fortified with vitamins, mineral, probiotics and prebiotics are not as widespread, further work in these areas has been identified as a way to produce high value processed cheese products with added health benefits.
- Processed cheese