Fromages blancs are fresh unripened cheese that may be fermented if the fermentation is primarly lactic (2007-628 decree from April 17th 2007 regarding cheese and cheese specialities – article 2). The designation “fresh fromage blanc” may only be used if the product contains alive flora when it is sold to the final consumer.
Various types of fromage blanc exist, they may vary, particularly according to the country where they are produced. Called “quark” in Germany, this kind of soft white cheese may also be called “quarg” in England.
Fromages blancs are unripened soft white cheese. Their manufacturing may be divided into 3 steps:
- Pasteurisation: milk temperature is increased up to 95°C for 1 to 5 minutes in order to destroy pathogens.
- Curdling: warm milk clots when mixed with lactic ferments and one coagulation enzyme (rennet for instance).
- Drainage: to separate curd from lactoserum.
Fromages blancs are usually barely drained. The curd is then put in jars (type of fromages blancs called “faisselle”). It may be whipped (“fromages blancs lissés”), or possibly enriched with cream or other ingredients (sugar, fruits). Fromage blanc may also be served salty or flavoured.
After packing, the product is directly stored in a cold room (temperature between 0 and 6°C). It has a short shelf life to insure its freshness.
Fromage blanc is an interesting source of proteins and offers low sugar and lipids contents. Its first ingredient is milk. It contains 85% of moisture.
Fromages blancs are rich in milk proteins (average content is 8g /100g) and particularly in caseins that help assimilate some minerals and micro-nutrients such as:
Generally, sugar content of fromages blancs is relatively low. Without any addition of ingredients, fromage blanc only contains lactose (av. 3.6g /100g).
Fromage blanc with additional ingredients (fruits, sugar…) contains on average 14g of sugar per 100g of product.
Fat content may vary from 0 to 10% according to milk skimming. Three product categories exist :