Processed cheese (prepared cheese or cheese product or plastic cheese or cheese singles) is a food product made by mixing and heating natural cheeses with other unfermented dairy ingredients, emulsifiers, food colourings, salt or whey. Processed cheese exists in various textures, flavours and colours.
Processed cheese accounts for a large section of cheese sales since it has a longer shelf life than other cheeses and is less expensive. Compared to natural cheese, processed cheese retains its texture and taste intact. In the UK, processed cheese is also available in wrapped slices, called 'singles'.
In the USA, it is referred to as pasteurized process cheese or pasteurized process cheese food or pasteurized process cheese spread, depending upon the ingredients.