World food standards body Codex Alimentarius has drafted revised guidelines for the production of many famous cheeses. These include cheddar, Camembert, Brie, mozzarella, Edam, Gouda, emmental, cottage cheese, cream cheese, saint-paulin, provolone, havarti, as well as coulommiers, danbo, samso, tilsiter, whey cheeses and dairy fat spreads.
Food industry lobbyists have until 31 May to get governments and international organisations to press for any changes.
The Codex committee wrote the standards on milk and milk products, which has also been considering whether to introduce a minimum protein level for cheese in general.
After debates, Codex members have abandoned a numerical minimum because this could block the trade in low-protein cheeses. However, the committee proposed that cheese must have “distinctly more” protein than “the blend of milk materials from which it was made”.
It has also drafted standards for evaporated skimmed milk/vegetable fat blends; powdered skimmed milk/vegetable fat blends; and sweetened condensed skimmed milk/vegetable fat blends.