The Ministry of Economy and the Federal Consumer Prosecutor’s Office (Profeco) they banned the sale of certain brands of cheese, after checking that do not comply with the provisions of the Official Mexican Standards, for which the immediate prohibition of their commercialization was ordered. But in addition to caseinates, What other compounds did you find in these products? Here we explain it to you.
Between the breaches detected by the agency that resulted in banning the sale of certain cheeses, are:
- Adding vegetable fat to replace milk
- Do not report the percentage of use of caseinates.
What is vegetable fat?
Vegetable fats are a type of nutrient that is obtained from plant species such as soy, sunflower or coconut, some of which may be considered healthy fats, according to the United States National Library of Medicine (NIH).
However, in the case of cheeses their fats come directly from milk since they are foods of animal origin.
The Mexican Official Standard PROY-NOM-223-SCFI / SAGARPA-2017, indicates that “The commercial name of Cheese is reserved for products made with milk and products obtained from milk, which do not contain fat or proteins of another origin”, so that it is not allowed to use any other type of grease, like the vegetable in its preparation.
“In the manufacture of cheeses, the following products cannot be used: fatty substances not typical of the milk used[)”[…)”
Official Mexican Standard
What are caseinates?
The caseinates found in the brands of cheeses analyzed by the authorities, They are a a type of protein that comes from the main protein in milk called casein, which are frequently used as preservative, enhance amino acid products and enhance nutritional value general of a product, indicates Latam Dairy, a site specialized in the dairy industry in Latin America.
It is commonly found in powder form and is soluble in water, has a high nutritional value and contains essential amino acids, carbohydrates, calcium and phosphorus.
However, caseinate products may have hidden forms of the monosodium glutamate which is harmful to health.
The Mexican regulations for cheeses notes that the use of caseinates is allowed as long as “the percentage content used is indicated, which cannot exceed a maximum of 2% of the final product, and that it is specified on the main display surface of the label.
What must contain a cheese according to the NOM?
The Mexican Official Standard PROY-NOM-223-SCFI / SAGARPA-2017 also indicates certain characteristics for a cheese to be considered as such:
- Made with milk indicating the animal of its origin
- Do not contain fats or proteins of other origin
- Cultures of harmless bacteria and microorganisms
- Safe and suitable enzymes
- Sodium chloride
- Calcium chloride
- Drinking water
And points out that Products such as fats other than those of animal origin, starch, herbs or other curdling products cannot be used.
The trade name of a cheese according to the Standard it must be:
“Product made from standardized cow’s milk curd, with or without the addition of cream, obtained from the coagulation of casein with rennet, lactic cultures, appropriate enzymes, edible organic acids and with or without further treatment, by heating, drained , pressed or not, with or without the addition of ripening ferments, special molds, flux salts and optional edible ingredients, giving rise to different varieties of cheese. It can contain up to 2% caseinates, it must be in accordance with the corresponding type of cheese, and in accordance with the specifications ”.
What about sanctioned cheese brands?
Other of the breaches detected by the Ministry of Economy son:
- Use the legend “100% milk”, without being it.
- Provide a lower grammage than that declared on the label as “Net Content”.