U.S. Dairy Products > Cheese > Cheese Categories

Pasta Filata & Related Cheeses

Varieties include:pasta filata

  • Fresh Mozzarella
  • Low-Moisture, Part-Skim Mozzarella
  • Low-Moisture, Whole Milk Mozzarella
  • Part-Skim Mozzarella
  • Whole Milk Mozzarella
  • Provolone, mild, aged and smoked
  • String Cheese
  • Pizza Cheese
  • Individually Quick Frozen Mozzarella (IQF)  

Manufacturing Process

Pasta filata cheeses are named for the unique process of pulling the curds while they are dipped in hot water. Made from cow's milk in the U.S., preparation of the curd is similar to semi-soft and firm cheeses, involving warming of the milk and the addition of starter cultures and enzymes. Once the curd has been heated and stretched, it is molded. In the case of mozzarella-style cheese, the molded cheese is immersed in cold water, cooled in brine, and packaged. Provolone is often made with added lipase enzymes for a piquant flavor, ripened and in some cases, smoked.  


Pasta filata and related cheeses have an elastic consistency, and excellent melting, stretching and browning properties. Used as filling for breaded appetizers and pastas, as well as in toppings for pizzas, pastas and other hot entrées.  

Key Applications

Pasta filata cheeses work well in gratins, salads, sandwiches and stuffings. Their melting ability makes them ideal for U.S.-style pizza, the number one use for mozzarella worldwide. Also popular as the hot appetizer "cheese sticks," breaded and fried. String cheese is extremely popular among children.  

Marketing Advantages

Mild in flavor, these cheeses have near universal acceptance. Uniform and consistent melting properties ensure product quality and dependability. Browning qualities add visual appeal as a topper in many Italian-style dishes. Low-fat, low-calorie types of pasta filata cheese are ideally suited for diet products.  

Key Benefits in Foodservice and Prepared Foods

Used in a wide range of hot applications, especially when excellent melting, browning properties are needed. Adds body and mouthfeel to many dishes. Wide range of mozzarella types and formulations to meet specific applications. Provolone is popular in hot and cold sandwiches. Pasta filata cheeses can be sliced, shredded and cubed. They perform well in the freeze-thaw-cook cycle. They work beautifully in frozen prepared dishes. IQF cheeses offer excellent storage and labor saving advantages.