Cheese wedges
August 11, 2017

FDA Allows Use of Ultrafiltered Milk in All Cheeses

 |  By: Jim Dickrell

In an announcement today, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said it will allow the use of ultrafiltered (UF) milk in cheese and related cheese products covered by Federal Standards of Identity.

FDA had allowed the use of UF milk in some standardized cheeses before if the ultrafiltration occurred in the cheese plant. But it had also required extra labeling. The announcement today means UF milk could be used in more cheeses and cheese products, and UF process could be done at other plants.  FDA is also relaxing its labeling requirements, but will use “enforcement discretion” to deal with specific cases.

UF milk is simply milk that has been forced through dense filters to remove extra water and lactose, The process also concentrates the milk protein, making for more efficient cheese production. The process typically reduces the liquid volume by two-thirds.

“It’s more practical and economical to ship this liquid, filtered milk to cheesemakers, other dairy manufacturers and even food processors in concentrated form,” says John Umhoefer, executive director of the Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association.

“Today’s action by FDA falls squarely within the philosophy of the current administration to reduce unnecessary regulatory burdens,” says Michael Dykes, CEO and president of the International Dairy Foods Association. “After lagging for more than two decades, it is good to see the regulations on the use of UF milk are catching up with this safe and sustainable production technology, which is already used around the world.”