- Posted by CERC India
- Posted in Food
We tested a total of 11 brands of cheese in five categories â€” three brands of cheese cubes, two of cheese slices, two of cheese block, two of cheese spread and three of pizza cheese.
September – October 2005
- In cubes and slices we recommend Amul as the best buy and in blocks Verka as the best buy. Amul is the best buy for cheese spreads too as, though it received two points less than Britannia in the overall weighted score, its price was much lower. Britannia is the best buy among the three brands of pizza cheese.
- All brands were high in the sodium content which is not good for health. Dairylicious showed the highest sodium content of 2270 mg per 100 gm, followed by Britannia cubes with 2135 mg, Britannia slice with 1963 mg and Amul cubes with 1947 mg. As per the UK Food Standards Agency, if a product contains more than 500 mg of sodium per 100 gm, it is high.
- Also, there was a wide difference in the labelled value for sodium and our test findings. For instance, the label for Britannia cubes mentioned sodium 740 mg per 100 gm while our test found it to be 2135 mg. In the case of Amul cubes the difference was not so wide. The labelled figure was 1400 mg per 100 gm while our test found it to be 1947 mg.
- However, all the brands conformed to the PFA Act and BIS specifications for salt that is 3 per cent of the mass.
- Yeast and mould count was found present in Amul pizza cheese mozzarella and Dairy-licious processed cheese when they should be absent as per the standard. All other products of Amul conformed to the standards. Though yeast and mould was found in Amul pizza cheese and Dairy-licious cheese, since they are used in pizzas after baking at high temperatures the adverse effects on health may not be there. However, the product labels do not mention that they cannot be eaten raw.
- Except for the second sample of Amul we tested, all brands conformed to the standards for total plate count, coliforms, E.Coli and salmonella.
- In the sensory analysis of the cubes, Britannia scored the highest but among the slices, Amul topped the list. Britannia cheese spread was preferred to Amul.
- Among the brands of pizza cheese, Amul was rated the best with a score of 92 while Britannia obtained a score of 36.
- Calcium in mg per 100 gm of the product was the highest in Amul cubes at 903 mg. The recommended daily intake of calcium for adults is 800 mg according to ICMR.
- Amul pizza cheese had the highest amount of protein (24 per cent of the weight), followed by Verka (21 per cent), and Britannia cheese spread had the lowest amount (10 per cent).
- All four samples of Britannia cubes tested were underweight. Labelled 200 gm they weighed 191.35 gm, 193.45 gm, 193.20 gm and 195.65 gm. In contrast, the net weight of samples of all Amul products were slightly above the labelled weight.