Swiss Cheese, Emmentaler Cheese Grades and Standards

For the purpose of this Standard, the words “Swiss” and “Emmentaler” are interchangeable. Swiss cheese is cheese made by the Swiss process or by any other procedure which produces a finished cheese having the same physical and chemical properties as cheese produced by the Swiss process. It is prepared from milk and has holes, or eyes, developed throughout the cheese by microbiological activity. It contains not more than 41 percent of moisture, and its solids contain not less than 43 percent of milkfat. It is not less than 60 days old and conforms to the provisions of 21 CFR 133.195, “Cheese and Related Cheese Products,” Food and Drug Administration.
 
Grades of Swiss Cheese, Emmentaler Cheese
  1. U.S. grade A Swiss cheese shall conform to the following requirements (See Tables I, II, III, IV, and V of this section):
a. Flavor: Shall be a pleasing and desirable characteristic Swiss cheese flavor, consistent with the age of the cheese, and free from undesirable flavors.
b. Body: Shall be uniform, firm, and smooth.
c. Eyes and texture: The cheese shall be properly set and shall possess well-developed round or slightly oval-shaped eyes which are relatively uniform in size and distribution. The majority of the eyes shall be 3/8 to 13/16 inch in diameter. The cheese may possess the following eye characteristics to a very slight degree: dull, rough, and shell; and the following texture characteristics to a very slight degree: checks, picks and streuble.
d. Finish and appearance—
i. Rind. The rind shall be sound, firm, and smooth, providing good protection to the cheese. The surface of the cheese may exhibit mold to a very slight degree. There shall be no indication that mold has penetrated into the interior of the cheese.
ii. Rindless. Rindless blocks of Swiss cheese should be reasonably uniform in size, and well shaped. The wrapper or covering shall adequately and securely envelop the cheese, be neat, unbroken, and fully protect the surface of the cheese, but may be slightly wrinkled. The surface of the cheese may exhibit mold to a very slight degree. There shall be no indication that mold has penetrated into the interior of the cheese.
e. Color: Shall be natural, attractive, and uniform. The cheese shall be white to light yellow in color.
  1. U.S. grade B Swiss cheese shall conform to the following requirements (See Tables I, II, III, IV, and V of this section):
a. Flavor: Shall be a pleasing and desirable characteristic Swiss cheese flavor, consistent with the age of the cheese, and free from undesirable flavors. The cheese may possess the following flavors to a slight degree: acid, bitter, feed, flat, and utensil.
b. Body: Shall be uniform, firm, and smooth. The cheese may possess a slight weak body.
c. Eyes and texture: The cheese shall possess well-developed round or slightly oval-shaped eyes. The majority of the eyes shall be 3/8 to13/16 inch in diameter. The cheese may possess the following eye characteristics to a very slight degree: dead eyes and nesty; and the following to a slight degree: dull, frogmouth, one sided, overset, rough, shell, underset, and uneven. The cheese may possess the following texture characteristics to a slight degree: checks, picks and streuble.
d. Finish and appearance—
i. Rind. The rind shall be sound, firm, and smooth; providing good protection to the cheese. The cheese may exhibit the following characteristics to a slight degree: huffed, mold, soiled, uneven, and wet rind. There shall be no indication that mold has penetrated into the interior of the cheese.
ii. Rindless. The wrapper or covering of rindless blocks of Swiss cheese shall adequately and securely envelop the cheese, be neat, unbroken and fully protect the surface, but may be slightly wrinkled. The cheese may exhibit the following characteristics to a slight degree: huffed, mold, uneven, and wet surface. There shall be no indication that mold has penetrated into the interior of the cheese.
e. Color: The cheese shall be white to light yellow. The cheese may possess to a slight degree a bleached surface.
  1. U.S. grade C Swiss cheese shall conform to the following requirements (See Tables I, II, III, IV, and V of this section):
a. Flavor: Shall possess a characteristic Swiss cheese flavor which is consistent with the age of the cheese. The cheese may possess the following flavors to a slight degree: barny, fruity, metallic, old milk, onion, rancid, sour, weedy, whey-taint, and yeasty; and the following to a definite degree: acid, bitter, feed, flat and utensil.
b. Body: Shall be uniform and may possess the following characteristics to a slight degree: coarse, pasty, and short; and to a definite degree the cheese may be weak.
c. Eyes and texture: The cheese may possess the following eye characteristics to a slight degree: afterset, cabbage, collapsed, irregular, large eyed, and small eyed, and the following to a definite degree: dead eyes, dull, frog mouth, nesty, one sided, overset, rough, shell, underset, and uneven. The cheese may possess the following texture characteristics to a slight degree: gassy, splits and sweet holes; and the following to a definite degree: checks, picks and streuble.
d. Finish and appearance—
i. Rind. The rind shall be sound, providing good protection to the cheese. The cheese may exhibit the following characteristics to a slight degree: checked rind, and soft spots; and the following to a definite degree: huffed, mold, soiled, uneven, and wet rind. There shall be no indication that mold has penetrated into the interior of the cheese.
ii. Rindless. The wrapper or covering shall adequately and securely envelop the cheese, be unbroken, fully protect the surface and may be wrinkled. The cheese may exhibit a very slight soiled surface and contain soft spots to a slight degree. The cheese may possess the following characteristics to a definite degree: huffed, mold, uneven, and wet surface. There shall be no indication that mold has penetrated into the interior of the cheese.
e. Color. The cheese may possess the following color characteristics to a slight degree: acid cut, colored spots, dull or faded, mottled and pink ring; and to a definite degree bleached surface.
 
Detailed standards, Inspection Instructions & Other Resources: