Friday, June 11, 2010

The Historical significance of Cream Cheese

The historical significance of cream cheese; cream cheese is very important in today's society. Without cream cheese, would we have Cheese Cake? No, the answer is that we would NOT have cheese cake if it weren't for cream cheese.

Would the bagel be half as good without cream cheese? It definatly would not. Cream cheese comes in a variety of flavors; from herb and garlic to strawberry cream!

Because cream cheese is sooo fattening, it is one of the many reasons there are so many overweight or obese people in the world.

Where it comes from!

According to the American food processing company Kraft Foods, the first American Cream Cheese was made in 1872 by American dairyman William Lawrence, as the result of an unsuccessful attempt he had made to create a batch of Neufchatel Cheese. In 1880, 'Philadephia' was adopted as the brand name, after the city that was considered at the time to be the home of top quality food.


Cream cheese is typically used in sauces, spreads, icing, toppings, and substitutes. On things like breads, raw veggies, crackers, cakes, pies, sauces, salads, crab rangoon and many other various food items.


Cream cheese is difficult to manufacture. Normally, protein molecules in milk have a negative surface charge, which keeps milk in its' liquid state; the molecules act as surfactants, forming micelles around the particles of fat and keeping it in emulsion. Lactic acid bacteria are added to pasteurized and homogenized milk. During the fermantation at around twenty-three degrees C , the pH level of the milk decreases. Amino acids at the surface of the proteins begin losing charge and become neutral, turning the fat micelles from hydrophilic to hydrophobic stat causing the liquid to coagulate. If the bacteria are left in the milk too long, the pH lowers further, the micelles attain a positive charge and the mixture turns back into liquid form. The key is to then kill the bacteria by heating the mixture to 52-63 degrees C now at the moment the cheese is in an isoelectric point, meaning the state at which half the ionizable surface amino acids of the proteins are positivly charged and half are negative. Inaccurate timing of heating leads to an inferior or unusable product. However, subtle changes in the timing of the process can result in variations of flavor and texture. Furthermore, because cream cheese has a higher fat content than most cheeses, and fat repels water, which tends to separate from the cheese, stabalizers such as guar and carob gums are added to prolong its' shelf life. Improper heat treatment of milk may lead to formation of hard particles of amorphous compacted protein, causing an unpleasant grittiness.

So, as you can see, cream cheese is a huge part of society! Without cream cheese, Cheese Cake wouldn't exist.

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