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FDA Reopens Comment Period on Use of Ultrafiltered Milk in Certain Cheeses

Source: FDA Dairy

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is reopening the comment period on its proposed rule that would allow the use of fluid ultrafiltered (UF) milk in the manufacture of certain cheeses and related cheese products.  The agency is reopening the comment period to solicit any new information on current industry practices regarding the use of fluid UF milk and fluid UF nonfat milk and on labeling of UF fluid UF milk and fluid UF nonfat milk when used as ingredients.

The proposed rule, which was issued on Oct. 19, 2005, would amend the definitions of “milk” and “nonfat milk” for cheeses and related cheese products in FDA’s regulations on food standards (often referred to as standards of identity).  In 2017, FDA issued guidance to industry indicating that it is exercising enforcement discretion regarding the use and ingredient labeling of fluid UF milk and fluid UF nonfat milk in the manufacture of standardized cheeses and related cheese products while it considers rulemaking.  FDA has seen the marketplace evolve and believes it is appropriate to give interested persons another opportunity to comment on the issues raised by the rulemaking.

Ultrafiltered milk is raw or pasteurized milk that is mechanically filtered to concentrate the proteins in milk. In the process, some of the lactose, minerals and water-soluble vitamins are lost, along with water.  The resulting protein concentrate is easier and more cost effective to ship. This same process applies to UF nonfat milk, except that raw or pasteurized nonfat milk is used.