|Other names||Pasteurized Processed Cheese Product|
|Country of origin||United States|
|Town||Monroe, New York|
|Source of milk||Cow|
|Texture||Soft and creamy|
Velveeta is a brand name for a processed cheese product that tastes like an American cheese, with a softer and smoother texture than cheese. As a result, when melted, it keeps a fully integrated and evenly clump-free liquid texture. It was invented in 1918 by Emil Frey of the Monroe Cheese Company in Monroe, New York. In 1923, The Velveeta Cheese Company was incorporated as a separate company, and sold to Kraft Foods in 1927.
The product was advertised as a nutritious health food. In the 1930s, Velveeta became the first cheese product to gain the American Medical Association's seal of approval. It was reformulated in 1953 as a "cheese spread", but as of 2002 Velveeta must be labeled in the United States as a "Pasteurized Prepared Cheese Product."
The name "Velveeta" was intended to connote a velvety smooth edible product. Smoothness and melting ability are promoted as properties that result from reincorporating the whey with the curd. The brand has been successfully made into a varied Velveeta-based product line with products like cheesy bites, macaroni & cheese, and cheesy skillets. As is the case with most processed cheeses, the manufacturer recommends Velveeta be refrigerated after opening.
The official list of Velveeta ingredients is: milk, water, whey, milk protein concentrate, milkfat, whey protein concentrate, sodium phosphate, and 2% or less of salt, calcium phosphate, lactic acid, sorbic acid, sodium citrate, sodium alginate, enzymes, apocarotenal, annatto, cheese culture.
In 2002, the FDA issued a warning letter to Kraft that Velveeta was being sold with packaging that described it as a "Pasteurized Process Cheese Spread", which the FDA claimed was false because the product listed milk protein concentrate (MPC) in its ingredients. Velveeta is now sold in the US as a "Pasteurized Prepared Cheese Product", a term for which the FDA does not maintain a standard of identity, and which therefore may contain milk protein concentrate.
In the 1980s, Velveeta used the advertising jingle, "Colby, Swiss and Cheddar, blended all together" in its US television commercials to explain its taste and texture because real cheese was used in the product at that time.