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NMPF Submits Joint Comments to Ultrafiltered Milk Docket

September 2, 2020

NMPF and IDFA submitted joint comments Aug. 13 to the re-opened docket on permitting the use of ultrafiltered milk in cheese, saying that the practice should be allowed. This docket, originally opened in 2006, has been dormant for the past 14 years, but was revived   to receive information and further comment on current industry practices regarding the use of fluid UF milk and fluid UF nonfat milk in the manufacture of standardized cheeses and related cheese products, and the declaration of fluid UF milk and fluid UF nonfat milk when used as ingredients in standardized cheeses and related cheese products.

“Our position is based on the simple fact – which FDA has already recognized in proposing to allow for the use of UF milk in standardized cheese – that the use of ultrafiltration in the cheesemaking process “has no material effect on the final cheese process,” NMPF and IDFA stated in their comments. The comments go on to touch on three main points:

  • Liquid Ultrafiltered and liquid microfiltered milk should be permitted in making standardized cheeses;
  • Ultrafitered and microfiltered milk should just be labeled as “milk” on the ingredient statement; and
  • The ultrafiltered and microfiltered milk may be made in the same plant or brought in from another dairy plant in liquid form only.

The use of ultrafiltered milk has many benefits in cheese processing. It creates an efficient way to get milk to cheese plants that are a large distance apart. Transportation of UF milk is often more cost-efficient, because unnecessary water is removed through filtration before shipment. Finally, it reduces the environmental impact of cheese making by shipping more milk in fewer loads.

NMPF urges FDA to re-evaluate its temporary  enforcement discretion position on ingredient labeling of ultrafiltered milk and make it permanent and expand the proposal to include microfiltered milk in cheesemaking.