Child with award winning Swiss cheese made in Ohio's Amish countryFast Cheese Facts

• It takes 10 pounds of milk to make 1 pound of cheese

.• The dairy food group is the top source of dietary calcium in the American diet.8• Cheese is the No. 2 source of dietary calcium for Americans.8

• Cheese is more than just calcium; it also provides high-quality protein needed to help stay healthy

.• For those with lactose intolerance, cheese can be an important source of calcium. Natural cheeses such as Cheddar, Colby, Monterey Jack, mozzarella and Swiss contain minimal amounts of lactose, because most of the lactose is removed when the curds are separated from the whey in the cheese making process.

• Most dairy foods are gluten-free. Natural cheeses are gluten-free and in the case of cheeses that have added …favors or are processed, check the food label’s ingredient list to make sure ingredients sourced from wheat, barley or rye aren’t added

What makes the holes in Swiss Cheese?
Cultures added to milk produce a gas during the aging process. This gas is carbon dioxide, which forms the holes.

• What is the natural color of cheese?
The natural cheese color is a yellowish off white. The orange color is caused by an added cheese color which is extracted from the annatto seed.

Why is the natural color of cheese more yellow in the summer months?
When cows are grazing on grass in the pasture, the chlorophyll in the grass makes the milk a darker, off white. This in turn causes the cheese to be a more yellow color.



Cheese Rollups made with award winning Swiss Cheese from Ohio's Amish Country


Dairy industry working voluntarily to address sodium in cheese.

Despite the fact that cheese contributes only 8 percent of the sodium to the U.S. diet, cheese makers are working together to pro actively address public health as well as meet people’s needs and lifestyles. Cheese makers continue to lead process control and product innovations as part of the solution to help lower sodium — all while maintaining strict expectations for food safety and taste.

Amish Country Cheese Makers

What are examples of industry actions? Collectively, the industry has:

• Spearheaded an independent, blinded study to determine benchmark analytic sodium levels in commonly consumed cheeses to establish industry best practices to improve process controls and thus reduce sodium

• Reduced commodity mozzarella salt content from 2.0 percent to 1.6 percent to meet USDA specifications

• Formulated reduced-fat and reduced-sodium process cheese and blended cheese for commodity purchase by schools, containing 200 to 300 mg. of sodium per 28-gram serving.

• Innovated cheese packaging to help people with portion control and calorie intake

• Introduced more than 200 new cheese products since 2007 that are reduced-fat, low-fat or fat-free.


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tomatoes and Mozzerella cheese made in Ohio's Amish CountryDid You Know?  
National Dairy Council

16% of teenagers and 26% of Adults are reducing or not eating meat in their diets and both are looking for additional sources of protein.

• Cheese can help fill the protein gap. Cheese contributes high-quality protein as well as calcium, phosphorus and vitamin A to the American diet.

• U.S. preteen and teenage girls 9 to 18 are at risk for not getting enough calcium according to the Institute of Medicine.

• As part of a healthy, balanced diet, cheese can help this gap. Most cheeses are a good to excellent source of calcium.

• Cheese may help children eat more fruits, vegetables and whole grains

• A recent study indicates that the visible addition of cheese to various middle school menu offerings may help increase the consumption of fruits, vegetables and whole grains compared with these items without cheese.7 Pairing foods with cheese potentially helps to increase total nutrient intake to improve diet quality.

Serving and Storage Tips for Cheese

• Unpasteurized cheese with a range of flavours should not be sliced until purchase otherwise it will start to lose its subtlety and aroma.
• Keep the cheese in conditions in which it matures. Hard, semi-hard and semi-soft cheeses are stored in the temperatures from around 8 - 13 ℃.
• Keep the cheese wrapped in the waxed paper and place it in a loose-fitting food-bag so to not to lose humidity and maintain the circulation of air.
• Wrap blue cheeses all over as mold spores spread readily, not only to other cheeses but also to everything near.
• Chilled cheeses should be taken out of the refrigerator one and a half or two hours before serving.
• Cheeses contain living organisms that must not be cut off from air, yet it is important not to let a cheese dry out. • Do not store cheese with other strong-smelling foods. As a cheese breathes it will absorb other aromas and may spoil.
• Wrap soft cheeses loosely. Use waxed or greaseproof paper rather than cling film.
• Let cold cheese warm up for about half an hour before eating to allow the flavour and aroma to develop.

Award winning Swiss CheeseHow to match cheese and wine?

Both cheese and wine, with their centuries-old traditions, are natural products that are frequently consumed together. As a rule, the whiter and fresher the cheese the crisper and fruitier the wine should be. The great advantage of this union is that cheese and wine are both foods that can be enjoyed in their "raw" state, with little or no preparation, making them an ideal choice for quick snacks.
There are no hard and strict rules about which wine should be selected to accompany a particular cheese as the best selections are almost always based on individual tastes.
However, we can offer you following principles:

• A smooth, fatty cheese may go very well with a similarly smooth, slightly oily wine.
• Sweet wine contrasts very well with a cheese with high acidity.
• White wines go better with many cheeses than reds.
• Not all red wines match with cheese. The most recommended are the fruity, light red wines.
• Dry, fresh red wines are ideally suited to soft cheeses, especially goat ones.
• A wine with good acidity may be complemented by very salted cheeses.
• Dry champagnes are brilliant combination with bloomy white rinds.
• The cheeses can be matched with beer or cider.
Try regional combination, the cheese and wine from the same region.

Baby Swiss Cheese made in Ohio's Amish CountryCheese can fit into almost any eating plan.

• Other countries have higher cheese consumption, yet lower incidence of hypertension and obesity.

• Hypertension affects 16.5 percent of French adults compared with 31.3 percent of U.S. adults.

What about fat? Cheese accounts for only 9 percent of the total fat and 16 percent of the saturated fat in the U.S. diet. Emerging research has shown simply reducing saturated fat in the diet is not associated with a decreased risk of heart disease or cardiovascular disease. And scientists from Harvard have identifi“ed a component in dairy fat that may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.

What about sodium? Salt/sodium plays an important role in cheese making. The majority of the sodium in the U.S. diet (92 percent) comes from sources other than cheese. Cheese contributes only 8 percent of the sodium. Salt is a vital part of the cheese making process, as it controls moisture, texture, taste, functionality and food safety. So, salt cannot be completely eliminated; however, some cheeses require less than others.Amish Country Cheese Makers

The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends three servings of low-fat or fat-free milk and milk products each day and states: “Moderate evidence shows that intake of milk and milk products is linked to improved bone health, especially in children and adolescents and is associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes and with lower blood pressure in adults.”

The Guidelines and other health authorities encourage sodium reduction. As part of sodium reduction, it is important not to lose sight of the fact that overall diet quality and lifestyle behaviors can positively affect blood pressure and related risks. The Guidelines recognizes that diet and lifestyle changes may help lower blood pressure.

When it comes to cheese, focus is sometimes misplaced on sodium content. Cheese contributes many essential nutrients to Americans’ diets — it’s the No. 2 source of calcium and a valuable source of protein, phosphorus, vitamin A and zinc.

Cheese contributes only 8 percent of the sodium, 9 percent of total fat and 5 percent of total calories to the U.S. diet.

Diet quality and lifestyle changes, not just less sodium Consuming recommended amounts of potassium, losing excess weight, increasing physical activity and eating a healthful diet, in addition to meeting recommended sodium intakes, may help lower risk for high blood pressure.

Often overlooked: potassium and blood pressure management High intake of sodium can be linked to increased prevalence of high blood pressure in the United States, but dietary potassium can lower blood pressure by blunting the adverse effects of sodium.

Potassium found in fruits, vegetables and milk products (i.e., milk and yogurt) can contribute to blood pressure control. Few Americans, including all age and gender groups, consume potassium in amounts recommended.

DASH delivers low sodium, high potassium and balanced approach - Americans can achieve sodium and potassium recommendations by following the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) eating plan. Within the context of a reduced-fat diet, a DASH diet — rich in fruits, vegetables and predominantly low-fat dairy products (including an average of 1 ounce of regular cheese each day) — was found to lower blood pressure to a greater extent than a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, but devoid of dairy.

cheesy pasta Award winning Swiss Cheese facts in Ohio's Amish CountryDid you know?

If you are looking to lower the sodium in your diet, one tip is to choose a cheese based on fi“rmness and age. In general, softer, less-aged cheeses require less salt than harder, aged varieties. Lower-sodium and lower-fat cheeses also are available. Get more help on a cheese to meet your individual needs in the chart below.

Looking to lower the sodium in your diet?

Try: Swiss, Monterey Jack, ricotta, Port de Salut or Parmesan (1 Tbsp). Also try lower sodium varieties of Colby-Jack, provolone, Muenster, mozzarella or Cheddar.

Watching the fat in your diet?

Try: Parmesan, Romano (grated) or part-skim mozzarella. Also try lower fat options of cottage, ricotta, Cheddar, Swiss, Parmesan, Colby, Muenster, provolone, Mexican blend* or American (process).

Need more calcium in your diet?

Try: Swiss, Cheddar, ricotta, mozzarella, Monterey Jack, Gouda, queso Blanco, Mexican blend* or Colby. Looking for more protein options for your diet? Try: Swiss, cottage, ricotta, mozzarella, Monterey Jack, Cheddar, Gouda, Colby, Port de Salut, provolone, Mexican blend* or Muenster.

A closer look at cheese makers’ efforts to decrease sodium

• Quality and food safety are primary concerns for cheese makers.

• A natural preservative, salt plays a vital role in the safe manufacturing of cheese and its post-production integrity. Control of factors that affect salt content in cheese are a critical part of the cheese making process to ensure quality.

• Cheese makers are working to control variability to better control sodium levels. Variability can result from processing conditions, cheese type, form (e.g., string, shreds, slices, bricks) and, in the case of process cheese, different standards of identity.

• A recent study confirmed that actual sodium levels can be lower than reported on labels, indicating an opportunity to control variability for consistently lower sodium and better quality cheeses

Award winning Swiss cheese in Ohio

What is a serving size of cheese?

• 1 1/2 ounces of natural cheese or 2 ounces of process cheese.

• About four dice-size cubes is a visual reminder of a serving of cheese.

Cheese is a complex food made from a few simple ingredients.

Cheese makers have developed thousands of varieties of cheese around the world, each with a unique taste, texture and nutritional ro“le. No cheese is the same — there are many standards of identity for cheese, because there are a number of ways to adjust the basic recipe to get a distinct product (e.g., Cheddar, Swiss, blue, Brie, mozzarella, etc.).

Natural cheese is made from four basic ingredients: milk, salt, starter culture or “good bacteria” and an enzyme called rennet. The nutrients found in cheese (e.g., calcium, protein, phosphorus) are there because milk is the main ingredient in cheese.9 Salt is needed to “nourish the transformation of liquid milk into enjoyable cheese. Salt also acts as a natural preservative.

Process cheese is made from high-quality natural cheese - so it also provides important nutrients such as calcium, phosphorus and protein. And it can be made to have more calcium as well as added vitamin D. Historically, process cheese was used to provide shelf-stable cheese for wartime and for shipping to warmer climates.

The processing halts the aging process so the cheese maintains its …flavor, texture and smoothness. Process cheese is customizable for …favor and qualities such as a smooth melt that make it a versatile, tasty and easy-to-use food. The amount of salt used impacts fi“rmness, …favor, food safety and preservation.


Cheese has been around for centuries and is rich in culture.

Award winning Swiss Cheese• Its origins date back to ancient times when travelers from Asia are believed to have brought the art of cheese making to Europe. According to an ancient legend, the “first cheese was accidentally made by an Arabian merchant who carried his milk in a pouch made from an animal’s stomach. The rennet in the lining of the pouch combined with the heat of the sun and caused the milk to separate into curd and whey. That night he found that the whey satisfied“ his thirst, and the cheese (curd) satisfied“ his hunger.

• Cheese making was common in the Roman Empire and the Romans passed on their knowledge to the rest of Europe. The art of cheese making …nourished. The Pilgrims included cheese in the May…ower’s supplies for their voyage to America in 1620. Once in the New World, the craft of cheese making spread quickly.

• The cheese making process is an art with roots going back to Biblical times, and is a sustainable and natural food that helps keep cultures, communities and families vibrant and healthy today.


Cheese and its nutrients offer health benefits

Cheese can help fill nutrient gaps

• Cheese can provide calcium for people who don’t meet daily recommendations and risk poor bone health

.• Cheese also provides protein, phosphorus, vitamin A and zinc to the U.S. diet.

• Cheese not only tastes great, it’s a convenient, portable and versatile food. When paired with fruits, vegetables and whole grains, it may help people eat more of these recommended food groups, including dairy.

Choose calories by the company they keep.

Natural cheese is made with four simple ingredients, and process cheese is made from natural cheese. Cheese is a high-quality food rich in nutrients that has been, and continues to be, part of a healthy eating plan. Many cheeses are excellent sources of calcium and good sources of high-quality protein and phosphorus — providing three nutrients particularly important for helping to build and maintain healthy bones. Some natural and process cheeses are fortified with vitamin D.

While nutrient pro“les vary due to the large variety of cheeses, cheese contributes essential nutrients for good health to the U.S. diet, including calcium, phosphorus, protein, vitamin A and zinc. See chart to the left.


Ohio Cheese MakersPublic health FAQs


What is the National Salt Reduction Initiative?

• The National Salt Reduction Initiative (NSRI) is a New York City-led partnership of cities, states and 19 national health organizations designed to help companies voluntarily reduce the salt levels in 62 categories of packaged food and 25 classes of restaurant food. The intent of the initiative is to reduce the salt in packaged and restaurant foods by 25 percent over 5 years, which is expected to reduce the nation’s sodium intake by 20 percent.

Is the cheese industry willing to adopt a targeted approach to sodium reduction?

While a variety of individual cheese manufacturers or food companies that make cheese may commit to a “targeted approach” to sodium reduction for their products, the industry at large is not adopting a targeted approach, and here’s why:
Cheese is not one single food — in the U.S., there are many standards of identity for cheese. Cheeses differ by type, form and variety in their sodium levels and other properties (fat level, moisture level, etc.), so you can’t put a blanket sodium reduction on cheese, since cheese is not one single food. For example, Swiss cheese naturally has a low level of sodium and is considered a low-sodium food. A blanket reduction of 25 percent would potentially risk taste/texture changes and food spoilage.

Why not eliminate sodium completely?

• Substituting sodium chloride (salt) with salt substitutes is not a fail-safe solution to reduce sodium in cheese. Salt influences the activity of enzymes and microorganisms; therefore, it affects critical aspects of the cheese, including taste, consumer acceptance, food safety, shelf life, body and texture.

• Use of potassium chloride is an option; however, it is known to add bitter ˆfavors to foods, so its potential use is limited. Other replacement options also are being explored. More work is needed for widespread use of potassium and other alternatives to sodium.