White cheeses are a relevant source of calcium, but they are not those with the highest content of this mineral. Know more.
It is common to hear that white cheeses have more calcium than the rest because they have a higher lactose content, as they retain part of the whey that gave rise to them. But is this really true?
Cheese is a versatile and nutritious food. It can be consumed with main or intermediate meals, either as a starter or dessert, adding nutritional value to the meal.
It can come in numerous flavors, colors and textures, which directly reflects its production method and, consequently, its nutritional composition.
Within the different types of cheese , there are white cheeses , acclaimed due to their lower fat content compared to cheeses with a more yellow or buttery color. Regarding calcium, do white cheeses really have more calcium than the rest? Let’s see.
CHEESE: NUTRITIONAL COMPOSITION
Cheese is a fresh dairy product obtained through the coagulation and draining (removal of whey) of milk , totally or partially skimmed, and can be obtained from different types of milk (cow, goat, sheep or buffalo).
On average, 1 liter of milk is needed to produce 100g of cheese.
Its nutritional composition varies according to the milk from which it originates, as well as the processing it undergoes during production.
However, in general, cheese is a relevant source of proteins of high biological value, B vitamins, minerals such as calcium, phosphorus, potassium and zinc and probiotics, which reinforce intestinal health and the immune system.
It also has a moderate lipid content, which varies according to the milk from which it originated and its fat content (full fat, semi-skimmed or skimmed), and a relatively low carbohydrate content, in particular lactose.
Regarding the sodium content, this can be high in cheese due to the addition of salt during processing, as this element works as a natural preservative, also improving the organoleptic characteristics of the final product.
For this reason, those who suffer from high blood pressure or other pathologies that benefit from sodium restriction should prefer alternatives without added salt.
WHITE CHEESES: WHAT ARE THEY?
The types of fresh cheese that are white in color are generally known as white cheeses, namely feta, mozzarella, quark, cottage or ricotta cheese, and cream cheese. Their name varies according to their country of origin and the type of milk from which they are produced, as follows:
- Feta cheese: of Greek origin, it is normally produced from goat’s or sheep’s milk;
- Mozzarella cheese: of Italian origin, it is produced from buffalo or cow milk or a mixture of both;
- Quark cheese : of German origin and, as a rule, produced from cow’s milk;
- Cottage cheese: of American origin, it is produced from cow’s milk curds;
- Ricotta cheese: of Italian origin, it is produced from the milk of any animal (cow, goat, sheep or buffalo).
Cottage cheese is a by-product of cheese production, mainly from sheep’s cheese, which results from the coagulation of whey after heating.
Unlike most cheeses, fresh cheese do not undergo the curing/maturation and pressing stages (to remove the remaining whey) that occur after draining, therefore having a shorter shelf life/validity period. .
In these cheeses, the milk curd is drained and then placed in molds and packaged for shipping.
With regard to calcium content, this table is an example of the values for each type of cheese.
|Type of Cheese||Calcium Content (mg/100g) ( 4 )|
|Flamengo Cheese 30%||850|
|Cured Serra Cheese||820|
|Flamengo Cheese 45%||800|
|Processed Cheese 40% fat||750|
|Fresh Serra Cheese||700|
|Feta Cheese (5)||493|
|Cottage cheese 13% protein||470|
|National Camembert cheese||300|
|Cream cheese spread||300|
|Half-Fat Ricotta Cheese (5)||272|
|Low-fat natural Quark cheese||120|
|Cottage Cheese ( 5 )||83|
Active Life Assessment: False
Because white cheeses do not undergo the pressing and maturing process, they have a higher lactose content than the rest, as they retain part of the whey that gave rise to them. Furthermore, they generally have a lower associated fat content.
Regarding calcium content, white cheeses, despite being relevant sources of this mineral, do not contain more calcium than the rest, as can be seen in the table above.
However, any type of cheese is an interesting source of this mineral, and the consumption of white cheeses, as they have an overall lower fat content, should be encouraged in the context of a healthy diet.