The latest in the war on saturated fats and sodium is apparently being waged on cheese, and it just may be a losing battle.
Under pressure to help reduce these obesity-causing elements in American diets, dairy scientists and research institutes have been experimenting with ways to make cheese healthier that consumers will like.
But the New York Times reports that the result is something few would eat.
"When you take a lot of the fat out, essentially cheese will turn into an eraser,” Gregory D. Miller, president of the Dairy Research Institute, told the Times.
Salt acts a preservative and helps to develop flavor of the cheese, while fat affects moisture level and texture. Mess with these elements too much and you get a watery, tasteless product.
“But we have not been able to crack the code,” Miller told the Times.
Swiss and mozzarella are naturally lower in salt than others, so it is not too difficult to lower sodium levels. But processed cheeses are more problematic because they sodium-containing emulsifiers when they're blended with natural cheeses.
“If you really want to make bad cheese, make a low-fat, low-sodium one,” said Lloyd Metzger, a professor of dairy science at South Dakota State University told the Times.