Thirty-five pounds. That’s the amount of cheese the average American consumes in a year, according to the USDA. Yet while cheese production has more than doubled over the last quarter century, consumer demand for healthier options with indulgent taste has also increased drastically. In response, the experts at ICL Food Specialties offer you products that make more healthful, low-sodium cheese products a reality.

“During cheese production or other heating processes, milk protein, or casein, can lose its ability to emulsify and coagulate,” explains Nancy Stachiw, director of applications Americas, ICL Food Specialties. “Poor emulsification causes fat to separate when cheese is melted, creating a runny, inconsistent texture. It’s therefore important to consider protein modification as another tool in your healthy indulgent formulation toolbox when formulating dairy products.”

By binding to the calcium in milk protein via ion-exchange, ICL Food Specialties’ JOHA® emulsifying salts promote a protein’s ability to emulsify. This results in a stable, smooth, creamy texture and mouth feel.

JOHA is formulated with a variety of phosphates that allow it to deliver a wide range of melt characteristics and viscosities. But JOHA isn’t just functional and flavorful – it’s also low in sodium.

“Sodium is naturally found in most cheeses, putting cheese on the restricted list of many low-sodium diets,” Stachiw says. In addition to select JOHA emulsifying salts that are lower in sodium, ICL Food Specialties also offers Salona® sea salt, mined from the Dead Sea, which replaces sodium chloride in cheeses while maintaining key functionality and flavors.

New lower sodium JOHA products and Salona are just two of the latest solutions discovered in ICL Food Specialties full dairy applications lab in St. Louis, Missouri. We’re continuously developing new products in response to industry trends.