Recently, a member of this forum expressed concern that his bag of commercially-produced shredded cheese contained potato starch. (Those bastards!) Could THIS be the cause of his weight loss stall?
Well, friends, I got curious about that potato starch. So, I sent an email to the folks at the Tillamook County Creamery Association, manufacturers of many fine dairy products. (They're cheesetastic!) This is what their customer service rep told me:
Thank you for your question regarding the potato starch in our shredded cheeses. There is a very minimal amount of potato starch added to the cheese to prevent it from forming clumps in the package. The potato starch makes up less than 2 percent of the total ingredients.
So... An 8 oz. package of shredded cheese contains 226.7962 grams of product, of which "less than" 2% is potato starch
226.7962g * 0.02g = 4.5359g
<4.5359g of the bag's contents is potato starch.
Now, oddly enough, the USDA database yielded no results when I searched for the nutritional composition of "potato starch" (it must be a conspiracy!), so I turned to another fine purveyor of foodstuffs, Bob's Red Mill, for the answer. One serving of potato starch, according to good old Bob, is 12.1g. Bob reports that 12.1g of potato starch contains 10g of carbohydrate. So,.....one gram of potato starch has 0.8264g of carbohydrate.
10g / 12.1g = 0.8264g
Therefore, I can state, definitively, that your 8 oz. bag of shredded cheese (if you bought the Tillamook brand, which you should, because their products are cheesetastic and their customer service is unparalleled) contains < (0.8264 * 4.5359)g of carbohydrate from potato starch. That is, the starch contributes no more than 3.7486g of carbs for the whole bag, it could be less, but just to be safe, let's call it 3.7486g.
0.8264g * 4.5359g = 3.7486g
The amount of actual cheese in your bag is,
226.7962g - 4.5359g = 222.2603g
Well, technically, this is the amount of [Cheese, Cellulose Powder (added to prevent caking) and Natamycin (natural mold inhibitor)] in your bag, because I am NOT going to email them again.
222.3g of cheddar cheese contains 2.85g carbs. (Sorry, the USDA site calculator won't let me take the number to four decimals. Those bastards!) Therefore, your bag contains,
2.85g + 3.7486g = 6.5986g carbohydrate from ALL SOURCES.
Should you desire to adhere to the quantity specified as one serving, or 1/4 C (28g) of cheese (there are eight servings in the bag), your serving would contain,
(2.85/8)g + (3.7486/8)g =
0.3562g + 0.4685g = 0.8247g carbohydrate
So, 1/4 C of cheese that you shred yourself
contains < 1g carbohydrate.
And 1/4 C cheese conveniently and thoughtfully shredded by someone else
also contains < 1g carbohydrate.
But you weren't really going to round either of those amounts down to ZERO. Were you?
You may wish to print out this summary and affix it to your refrigerator door in the event of a cheese emergency.
I hope these facts lay to rest any anxiety that may have been caused by your cheese.