Bulk Cheese Powders Offer Innovative Applications for New Flavors and Products

Cheese is as old as civilization itself.

Legend has it that thousands of years ago, a trader filled a bag made from a sheep stomach with milk before embarking on a long journey. After the ride, he discovered the motion, combined with the heat and the enzymes in his bag, separated the curds and whey in the bag, creating cheese for the very first time.

Since that mythic ride, humans have gone on to create more than 1,800 kinds of cheese, each with their own distinct flavor and texture. Cheese is an iconic ingredient in countless cuisines and recipes around the world and is eaten at all times of the day, from a Western omelet at breakfast to nachos as a midnight snack.

When Was Cheese Powder Invented?

As our collective insatiable appetite for cheese grew, cheese mongers and food scientists set about finding ways to make it safer to consume and last longer on store shelves. These efforts resulted in significant innovations, particularly in the last hundred years.

And it’s all thanks to the U.S. Army.

As America prepared for World War II, government food scientists were focused on ways to provide soldiers with nutritious, long-lasting rations that tasted good. They looked to Kraft, which had recently started using processed cheese in its Kraft Macaroni & Cheese Dinners.

Kraft’s affordable mac & cheese dinners gained popularity during the Great Depression, and the government bought large quantities of its processed cheese for soldiers during World War I. By 1943, the United States Department of Agriculture had developed a two-step process for creating true powdered cheese.

What is Cheese Powder?

Cheese powder is dehydrated cheese that is made by melting fresh cheese and using a technique called spray drying to convert it into a dry powder. With this process, a fresh piece of cheese can be converted into a more versatile powder format that lasts longer and can be incorporated into more products and recipes.

Today, dehydrated cheese powder is as common as any kind of cheese on the market, and it’s become an essential ingredient in countless recipes and products.

The average American consumer eats more than 30 pounds of cheese a year, much of it in the form of cheese powder.

New Innovations for Bulk Cheese Powder

Cheese powder has a long history, much longer than other powdered ingredients such as mango powder or avocado powder. But that doesn’t mean there haven’t been significant innovations since cheese powder was first created more than 75 years ago.

For the last 25 years, Bluegrass Ingredients has been at the forefront of that innovation. The company’s Agile Ingredient Innovation process ensures an unwavering focus on monitoring market trends and collaborating with customers to formulate cheese powders to satisfy evolving customer demands for taste and texture.

After creating its first cheddar cheese powder, Bluegrass now offers six cheddar cheese powders and blends in various colors and nearly 20 other varieties.

  • Parmesan Cheese
  • Romano Cheese
  • Organic Cheese Blends
  • Blue Cheese
  • Swiss Cheese
  • Monterey Jack Cheese
  • Asiago Cheese
  • Provolone Cheese
  • American Cheese
  • Mozzarella Cheese
  • Feta Cheese
  • Gouda Cheese
  • Ricotta Cheese

This wide range of products, which also includes baker’s cheese and cream cheese powders, gives food manufacturers the ingredients they need to match the exact specifications needed for a particular product.

Bluegrass Ingredients Offers Key Differentiators

When most people think of cheese powder, they picture the bright orange mac & cheese powder they grew up on. It’s led some to wonder — is cheese powder real cheese?

There’s no doubt that orange cheddar cheese powder is iconic, but the potential for cheese flavorings go far beyond the blue box. From popcorn cheese powder and other snack toppings to serving as an ingredient in countless recipes and products, there are so many things you can do with cheese powder.

That broad array of applications all have one thing in common -- starting with good cheese.

Bluegrass Ingredients begins the spray-drying and dehydration process with high-quality cheeses to create authentic flavor and texture in all powders and dry ingredients applications.

Bluegrass’ history as a dairy powder manufacturer serves as a key competitive advantage on this front. From detailed scientific analysis to blind comparisons in the company’s state-of-the-art test kitchen, each powder formulation is evaluated, refined and perfected until it can be manufactured as a commercial cheese powder at significant scale and distributed nationwide.

Plant-based Cheese Powders Gain Ground

Bluegrass’ expertise in the world of dairy cheese powders has also offered a unique perspective on the growing trend of plant-based cheese powder alternatives. In fact, dairy-free cheese powders were among the company’s first plant-based offerings, brought about by in-depth market research and robust customer collaboration.

Because Bluegrass has led the industry in spray drying and distributing many dairy powders, it’s well-positioned to continue to develop plant-based alternatives that are indistinguishable from their dairy counterparts, including cheese powders. It’s a viewpoint that has become a distinct competitive advantage as plant-based markets continue to grow and expand beyond the vegan consumer segment and into mainstream shopping and eating trends.

To learn more about Bluegrass Ingredients’ cheese powders and other market driven flavor solutions, contact us.

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