Idea to reality: In response to national health initiatives, the dairy industry is exploring ways to reduce the sodium content of cheese without compromising food safety and quality. Salt helps limit the growth of harmful bacteria in cheese. The industry needed to know if reducing the sodium content of processed American cheese slices would increase the survival of Listeria — a food-borne pathogen that can make people sick.
AURI’s role: AURI helped fund the first independent research trials on Listeria survival on sodium reduced processed cheese slices. The trials were performed at the University of Minnesota.
Outcomes: The research found that lowering the sodium in processed American cheese slices did not increase Listeria survival. This knowledge benefits consumers, cheese processors, and milk producers.[AW1]
Partners: Midwest Dairy Association; University of Minnesota