Colby Cheese Grades and Standards

Colby cheese is cheese made by the colby process or by any other procedure which produces a finished cheese having the same organoleptic, physical, and chemical properties as the cheese produced by the colby process. The cheese is made from cow’s milk with or without the addition of artificial coloring. It contains added common salt and not more than 40 percent moisture, its total solids content is not less than 50 percent milkfat, and it conforms to the applicable provisions of 21 CFR 133.118, “Cheeses and Related Cheese Products,” as issued by the Food and Drug Administration.
 
Grades of Colby Cheese
  1. U.S. Grade AA Colby Cheese shall conform to the following requirements (See Tables I, II, III, and IV of this section):
a. Flavor. The cheese shall possess a fine and highly pleasing colby cheese flavor which is free from undesirable tastes and odors, or it may be lacking in flavor development. The cheese may possess a very slight feed flavor. See Table I of this section.
b. Body and Texture. A plug drawn from the cheese shall be firm. Dependent upon the method of manufacture, a satisfactory plug may exhibit evenly distributed small mechanical openings or a close body. The cheese shall not possess sweet holes, yeast holes, or other gas holes. The texture may be definitely curdy. See Table II of this section.
c. Color. The color shall be uniform and bright. If colored, the cheese should be a medium yellow-orange. See Table III of this section.
d. Finish and appearance.
i. Rinded and paraffin-dipped. The bandage shall be evenly placed over the entire surface of the cheese and be free from unnecessary overlapping and wrinkles, and not burst or torn. The rind shall be sound, firm, smooth, and provide good protection to the cheese. The surface shall be smooth, bright, and have a good coating of wax or coating that adheres firmly to all surfaces. The cheese shall be free from mold under the paraffin. The cheese shall be free from high edges, huffing, or lopsidedness, but may possess soiled surface to a very slight degree. See Table IV of this section.
ii. Rindless and wrapped. The wrapper or covering shall be practically smooth and properly sealed with adequate overlapping at the seams or sealed by any other satisfactory type of closure. The wrapper or covering shall be neat and shall adequately and securely envelop the cheese, but may be slightly wrinkled. Allowance should be made for slight wrinkles caused by crimping or sealing when vacuum packaging is used. The cheese shall be free from mold under the wrapper or covering and shall not be huffed or lopsided. See Table IV of this section.
iii. Rindless and paraffin-dipped. The cheese surface shall be smooth, bright, and have a good coating of paraffin that adheres firmly. If a wrapper or coating is applied prior to paraffin dipping, it shall completely envelop the cheese. The cheese shall be free from high edges, huffing, lopsidedness, or mold. The cheese may possess soiled surface to a very slight degree. The wrapper may be wrinkled to a slight degree. See Table IV of this section.
  1. U.S. Grade A Colby Cheese shall conform to the following requirements (See Tables I, II, III, and IV of this section):
a. Flavor. The cheese shall possess a pleasing colby cheese flavor which is free from undesirable tastes and odors, or it may be lacking in flavor development. The cheese may possess very slight acid flavor or feed flavor to a slight degree. See Table I of this section.
b. Body and Texture. A plug drawn from the cheese shall be reasonably firm. Dependent upon the method of manufacture, a satisfactory plug may exhibit evenly distributed mechanical openings or a close body. The plug shall be free from sweet holes, yeast holes, or other gas holes. The body may be very slightly loosely knit or definitely curdy. See Table II of this section.
c. Color. The color shall be fairly uniform and bright. If colored, the cheese shall be a medium yellow-orange. The cheese may possess waviness to a very slight degree. See Table III of this section.
d. Finish and appearance.
i. Rinded and paraffin-dipped. The bandage shall be evenly placed over the entire surface of the cheese and not be burst or torn. The rind shall be sound, firm, smooth, and provide good protection to the cheese. The surface shall be practically smooth, bright, and have a good coating of paraffin that adheres firmly to all surfaces. The cheese shall be free from mold under the paraffin. The cheese may possess the following characteristics to a very slight degree: Soiled surface or surface mold; and to a slight degree: High edges, irregular press cloth, lopsided, or rough surface. See Table IV of this section.
ii. Rindless and wrapped. The wrapper or covering shall be practically smooth, properly sealed with adequate overlapping at the seams or sealed by any other satisfactory type of closure. The wrapper or covering shall be neat and adequately and securely envelop the cheese but may be slightly wrinkled. Allowance should be made for slight wrinkles caused by crimping or sealing when vacuum packaging is used. The cheese shall be free from mold under the wrapper or covering and shall not be huffed but may possess to a slight degree: High edges, lopsided, irregular press cloth, or rough surface. See Table IV of this section.
iii. Rindless and paraffin-dipped. The cheese surface shall be bright and have a good coating of paraffin that adheres firmly. If a wrapper or coating is applied prior to paraffin dipping, it shall completely envelop the cheese and have a good coating of paraffin that adheres firmly. The cheese may possess soiled surface to a very slight degree. The cheese shall be free from mold, and may possess to a slight degree: High edges, lopsided, irregular press cloth, or rough surface. The wrapper may be wrinkled to a slight degree. See Table IV of this section.
  1. U.S. Grade B Colby Cheese shall conform to the following requirements (See Tables I, II, III, and IV of this section):
a. Flavor. The cheese may possess a fairly pleasing colby cheese flavor, or it may be lacking in flavor development. The cheese may possess the following flavors to a very slight degree: Onion or sour; to a slight degree: Barny, bitter, flat, fruity, malty, old milk, rancid, utensil, weedy, whey-taint, or yeasty; and to a definite degree: Acid or feed. See Table I of this section.
b. Body and texture. A plug drawn from the cheese shall be moderately firm. Dependent upon the method of manufacture, a satisfactory plug may exhibit mechanical openings or a close body. The cheese may possess the following characteristics to a slight degree: Coarse, corky, crumbly, gassy, loosely knit, mealy, pasty, short, slitty, sweet holes, or weak; and the following to a definite degree: Curdy. See Table II of this section.
c. Color. The cheese may possess the following characteristics to a slight degree: Acidcut, dull, faded, mottled, salt spots, seamy, unnatural, or wavy. In addition, rindless colby cheese may have a bleached surface to a slight degree. See Table III of this section.
d. Finish and appearance.
i. Rinded and paraffin-dipped. The bandage shall be placed over the entire surface of the cheese and may be uneven and wrinkled, but not burst or torn. The rind shall be reasonably sound and free from soft spots, rind rot, cracks, or openings of any kind. The surface may be rough and unattractive but shall possess a fairly good coating of paraffin. The paraffin may be scaly or blistered, with very slight mold under the bandage or paraffin, but there shall be no indication that mold has entered the cheese. The cheese may possess the following characteristics to a slight degree: Checked rind, defective coating, soiled surface, sour rind, surface mold, or weak rind; and to a definite degree: High edges, irregular press cloth, lopsided, or rough surface. See Table IV of this section.
ii. Rindless and wrapped. The wrapper or covering shall be unbroken and shall adequately and securely envelop the cheese. The following may be present to a very slight degree: Mold under the wrapper but not entering the cheese; to a slight degree: Soiled surface or surface mold; and to a definite degree: High edges, irregular press cloth, lopsided, rough surface, or wrinkled wrapper or cover. See Table IV of this section.
iii. Rindless and paraffin-dipped. The wrapper or coating applied prior to paraffin dipping shall adequately and securely envelop the cheese and have a coating of paraffin that adheres firmly to the cheese wrapper or shall be unbroken but may be definitely wrinkled. The paraffin may be scaly or blistered, with very slight mold under the paraffin, but there shall be no indication that mold has entered the cheese. The cheese may possess the following characteristics to a slight degree: Defective coating, soiled surface, or surface mold; and the following to a definite degree: High edges, lopsided, irregular press cloth, or rough surface. See Table IV of this section.
 
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