Powdered cheese is not an essential survival food, but it can make all the difference in how tasty your stockpiled goods are during an emergency.
The best-powdered cheese products for long-term storage are:
- NutriStore Powdered Cheese
- Augason Farms Cheese Powder
- Rainy Day Foods Cheese Blend
- Legacy Foods Powdered Cheese
- Firehouse Cheddar Cheese Powder
- Judee’s Cheese Powder
- Anthony’s Cheddar Cheese Powder
After thoroughly researching food storage guidelines, I have gathered enough information to determine which survival goods and products are best for emergency goods. In this article, we’ll be taking a closer look at the best powdered cheeses for long-term stockpiles.
What Is Powdered Cheese?
Powdered cheese is often used with snacks and sauces, but it can also be rehydrated and used as a key ingredient for emergency cooking. Having access to fresh cheese is next to impossible when relying on the supplies in your stockpile, which makes powdered cheese a very practical solution for diversifying meals.
That said, there are a lot of different powdered cheese products on the market, and many of them don’t even contain real cheese. There are plenty of cheap brands that make their products with poor-quality ingredients and completely cut cheese out of the equation because of its perishability.
Quality brands will use around 15% natural cheese in their products and include other ingredients such as:
- Vegetable Oil
- Calcium Caseinate
Spray-Dried vs Freeze-Dried Powdered Cheese
When powdered cheese was popularized in the mid-20th century, most brands made it by spray-drying. This process involves melting cheese down and then blasting it with hot air until all liquids have been removed.
By removing the liquids and adding some additives, the shelf-life of the spray-dried cheese becomes much more shelf-stable and suitable for specific types of meals. These products often contain real cheese, but rarely have a shelf-life that is longer than 1 to 3 years.
However, freeze-drying is a newer concept that is generally the go-to pick among preppers and survivalists, as the products are more reliable for long-term storage. Freeze-drying requires freezing the cheese down to -20F and then removing moisture with a vacuum.
Freeze-drying is more expensive and is generally done as a preservation method to extend the shelf-life of foods. That said, if you want a guaranteed long-term solution for your powdered cheese, a freeze-dried product will suit your storage needs better.
How Long Does Powdered Cheese Last?
You will pretty much never see a powdered cheese product with a high cheese content given how quickly it goes bad. This implies that you should be wary of which powdered cheese you choose for your stockpile, as not all options are going to be ideal for long-term storage.
Some powdered cheese brands will only advertise a shelf-life of 1 to 3 years (or even less). For standard kitchen use and cooking, this kind of powdered cheese will be fine in your everyday pantry.
However, if you want powdered cheese that you can rely on for years or even decades, you need to prioritize products that have an extended shelf-life. Brands that make quality powdered cheese will advertise a 10 to 30-year shelf-life, which is what long-term preppers should opt for.
Best Powdered Cheese For Long-Term Storage
As the popularity of prepping and food storage continues to rise, there are more products designed for stockpiles than ever before.
Powdered cheese is widely available and can be seen in different variations based on the flavor, nutrients, ingredients, and shelf-life you want.
Whereas some powdered cheeses have a very solid shelf-life of 10+ years, others may only be good for 1 to 3 years. Having an idea of how long you want your powdered cheese to last will help you narrow down your options as you evaluate products.
That said, there are methods to improve the shelf-life of any powdered cheese product to improve its shelf-life such as repackaging and choosing a suitable storage location. Consider the following powdered cheeses for your long-term stockpile.
1. NutriStore Powdered Cheese (25-Year Shelf-Life)
If you are looking for a reliable powdered cheese for your emergency goods, this product from NurtiStore is a crowd-favorite among preppers.
With a very solid shelf-life of 25+ years, freeze-dried powdered cheese from NutriStore will ensure that you have cheese when you need it most. Despite the extended shelf-life, NurtiStore’s cheese is one of the most natural options on our list.
This product contains quality cheese and just a couple of other ingredients like cellulose. Given that NutriStore freeze-dried this cheese and stored it in a #10 can, the shelf-life will be secured for decades. Just make sure not to open the can and contents until you are ready to use them, as this can easily contaminate the product.
With the main ingredient being real cheese, the flavor tastes very natural and does not resemble a lot of the cheap artificial brands that you see on the market. The product is advertised as shredded and not powdered, meaning that you can use it like grated cheese in pasta dishes and all your favorite meals.
In addition, NutriStore offers a selection of flavors, so you can choose the type of cheese you want based on your preferences:
- Pepper Jack
Nutritional Value (per serving)
- Calories: 180
- Protein: 11g
- Calcium: 192mg
2. Augason Farms Cheese Powder (30-Year Shelf-Life)
Augason Farms is one of the most reputable and respected brands for making quality goods for long-term stockpiles. Many preppers rely heavily on Augason Farms when buying supplies for their food storage, with the company’s cheese powder being a go-to pick.
The Augason Farms Cheese Powder is a top-notch canned cheese that tastes delicious and is designed to last for decades. There are a handful of powdered cheese products available in Augason Farms’ store but the one I find to be the most suitable for long-term stockpiles is their Colby powdered cheese.
Unlike some of the other cheeses from Augason Farms, the Colby option has a considerably better shelf-life, with 30 years being the advertised expiration date. This blows most powdered cheese products out of the water as far as shelf-life.
As always with Augason Farms, the company prides itself in using primarily natural and always quality ingredients. The flavor of the Colby cheese is on point and will make any meal you use it delicious. You can also consider opting for the Cheese Blend powdered cheese from their store, but the shelf-life is just 10 years, which is not ideal for every long-term stockpile.
The Colby cheese comes in a 30oz #10 cans and contains 107 servings of cheese. You do not need to take any additional packaging measures with this Augason Farms product as they have already contained it for long-term storage.
Nutritional Value (per tbsp)
- Calories: 30
- Protein: 2g
- Calcium: 55mg
3. Rainy Day Foods Cheese Blend (10 to 15-Year Shelf-Life)
Rainy Day Foods manufactures a variety of different products designed for longevity, with their cheese blend being an excellent choice for long-term stockpiles.
This dynamic and delicious powdered cheese can be used with a variety of different meals or as a flavor enhancer for your snacks. Given that this is a cheese blend powder, you get a nice mix of different cheese flavors in a single package.
Although this product is by no means an all-natural cheese, few powdered cheeses are. Rainy Day Foods designed its blend with quality ingredients, including real pasteurized cheese, and is meant to last. You can count on this cheese mix more than a decade after you buy it, just make sure the packaging and contents are secured.
The official shelf-life advertised for the Rainy Day Foods cheese blend is 10 to 15 years. This kind of longevity should satisfy the needs of most preppers and survivalists. The expiration date can fluctuate depending on how you store it. So long as it's kept in ideal conditions, it should be good for 15+ years.
Nutritional Value (per tbsp)
- Calories: 73
- Protein: 2g
- Calcium 78mg
4. Legacy Foods Powdered Cheese (10 to 15-Year Shelf-Life)
Legacy Foods has a huge variety of foods suitable for long-term stockpiles, including powdered cheese. Their powdered cheese blend is a solid option for anyone designing a food storage system given that it has a shelf-life of 10 to 15 years.
Unlike some of the products on our list, the Legacy Foods powdered cheese does contain quite a bit of artificial ingredients. However, real cheese is also used in the recipe to ensure it tastes delicious.
One of the best things about this product is its price. Finding decent powdered cheese with an extended shelf-life can be tricky on a budget, as most reputable brands charge a lot. The Legacy Foods cheese blend is the perfect option for any budget shopper looking to save a few bucks while building a stockpile.
By replacing a lot of the natural cheese with substitutes such as whey, Legacy Foods was able to charge considerably less for its product. While this does lower the price it also negatively impacts the nutritional value, which is something to keep in mind.
This powdered cheese was freeze-dried and is very shelf-stable compared to a lot of cheap brands out there. The product is packaged in a resealable bag, making it ideal for re-using. Just remember to leave the packaging unopened until you are in an emergency to avoid contamination.
Nutritional Value (per serving)
- Calories: 130
- Protein: 2g
- Calcium: 98mg
5. Firehouse Cheddar Cheese Powder (1 to 3-Year Shelf-Life)
Firehouse is known for its herb and spice mixes, but the brand also has a solid selection of powdered cheeses available in its store. The sharp cheddar cheese powder is the best of what the manufacturer has to offer in terms of long-term storage, with the product advertising a shelf-life of 1 to 3 years.
When the cheddar cheese powder arrives at your door, you should only account for a shelf-life of around 10 months if you open it right away. However, if you leave the container unopened and store it in a reliable location, you can maximize the shelf-life for at least 2 to 3 years. The printed date on the package should ultimately be looked at as a best-by date, not an expiration date.
If you want to push back the expiration date of this product considerably, you should repackage it for long-term storage. By choosing a proper storage location and container for the product, you can extend the shelf-life years after the best-by date.
While the cheddar cheese powder from Firehouse may contain some natural cheese, the bulk of the ingredients are artificial. That said, the product still tastes delicious and will certainly satisfy your craving for cheese in an emergency.
Nutritional Value (per 100g)
- Calories: 376
- Protein: 19.8g
- Calcium: N/A
6. Judee’s Cheese Powder (1 to 2-Year Shelf-Life)
Judee’s Cheese Powder is not going to be ideal for every prepper’s long-term stockpile. The shelf-life is only 1 to 2 years, which is considerably less than the products that were designed for food storage. But there is a trade-off with choosing Judee’s powdered cheese over the competition.
While this cheese powder may not last as long, it has more natural ingredients than most other brands. Judee takes pride in selecting quality ingredients that do not contain hormones and are non-GMO.
While 1 to 2 years may be a short-lived timeframe for long-term food storage, the quality and natural flavor of this cheese powder will be much more rewarding on your palette.
Judee has a solid variety of yummy powdered cheeses available in their store and you can choose a variety or simply your favorite. These are the types of powdered cheeses available from Judee:
- White Cheddar
- Mozzarella Cheese
- Blue Cheese
- Swiss Cheese
This is a relatively pure product compared to most of the powdered cheeses on our list. Judee does not add any whey, soy, starches, or any other fillers. In addition, there are no artificial colorings or dyes used in the ingredients.
All in all, this is one of the most natural powdered cheeses that you can incorporate into your stockpile. If you like the idea of adding a quality product like Judees to your supplies but are on the fence about the shelf-life, consider repackaging and choosing a suitable storage location to push the expiration date back further.
- Calories: 60
- Protein: 3g
- Calcium: 120mg
7. Anthony’s Cheddar Cheese Powder ( 1-Year Shelf-Life)
Most preppers might right off Anthony’s Cheese Powder immediately given its short 1-year shelf-life. However, some dedicated foodie preppers who want to keep their sanity during an emergency will likely end up preferring this product over the other powdered cheeses on our list.
This is a creamy and delicious cheese that will make you forget you are eating a powdered product once you add it to your meals. While Anthony’s cheese powder may contain artificial flavors, it’s also filled with natural ingredients such as real cheese and butter.
Foodies who value cheese culture and want creamy cheese for their favorite recipes will not be able to resist the temptation of adding this product to their stockpiles. This is a creamy and delicious powdered cheese through and through, which is why a lot of people enjoy using it in their everyday meals. Feel free to add it to vegetables, pasta, and nachos, or make a yummy cheese sauce.
Given the short shelf-life of this product, I recommend carefully reading the expiration date before you buy it. You want to make sure the cheese was manufactured and packaged recently to get the most amount of its narrow shelf-life.
That said, if you decide to buy this product, a great way to combat its short expiration date is to rotate it with the cheese that you keep in your fridge. A 1-year shelf-life is not reliable for long-term storage, but if you use the product with your regular cooking and swap it out periodically, you will always have delicious cheese in your emergency goods.
- Calories: 70
- Protein: 3g
- Calcium: 97 mg
How To Extend the Shelf-Life of Powdered Cheese
Securing the shelf-life of powdered cheese requires implementing proper food storage strategies.
While some products such as NutriStore and Augason Farms may have very impressive shelf lives without requiring much in regard to storage, you can prevent the deterioration of any powdered cheese by choosing the right location and repackaging it.
Each powdered cheese has a different expiration date, but you can secure the advertised shelf-life or even extend it by properly handling the product. Consider the following methods to extend the shelf-life of powdered cheese.
Repackaging Powdered Cheese
If the powdered cheese you want to buy already has a shelf-life of 10 to 30+ years, you may not need to repackage it, as the product will already last a long time in its current container.
On the other hand, if the powdered cheese only advertises a shelf-life of 1 to 3 years (or less), you should strongly consider repackaging it for long-term storage. The best way to do this is to use mylar bags and oxygen absorbers.
The packaging process that a lot of brands use is not always ideal for long-term storage, hence the short shelf-life. Mylar bags and oxygen absorbers are a go-to approach that preppers use to secure their food items. Follow these steps to repackage your powdered cheese:
- Open the powdered cheese package
- Pour powdered cheese inside a mylar bag
- Add an oxygen absorber inside the mylar bag
- Seal the mylar bag
- Do not open until ready to use
This is a very effective way to store powdered cheese, especially if you want to extend the shelf-life beyond the printed expiration date. Make sure to not open the contents until you are ready to use, and place the mylar bag inside an additional storage container that is pest-proof.
Choose the Right Storage Location
The storage location you choose to keep your powdered cheese in can massively impact how long it lasts.
In fact, choosing a poor storage location can actually accelerate the deterioration of your products and will even shorten the shelf-life of quality powdered cheese brands that advertise a 20 to 30-year shelf-life.
Any storage location that you choose should be dry, dark, cool, and away from direct sunlight. There are plenty of places in your home that are suitable for long-term storage, with the following locations being popular among preppers:
Rotate Your Stock
Your favorite powdered cheese product may have a shorter shelf-life than the one that preppers would recommend. While you should always aim to buy products that are designed for long-term storage, choosing some items that you simply enjoy is still possible - even if the shelf-life is not ideal.
A great way to incorporate virtually any food into your emergency goods is to rotate your stock. If the powdered cheese that you want only has a shelf-life of 1 to 3 years, you can still add it to your supplies, but remember to incorporate it into your daily meals once the expiration date is approaching.
All you need to do is log your expiration dates and replace products before they start to go bad. This way you always have fresh goods in your stockpile, regardless of their shelf-life.
Is DIY Powdered Cheese Reliable for Long-Term Storage?
Some people like to make homemade powdered cheese. While this may be a better-tasting product than most of the options on our list, I would advise against taking the DIY approach with your food storage.
Homemade powdered cheese requires the use of expensive equipment that most people simply don’t have or can’t afford. However, more importantly, homemade powdered cheese may not be a shelf-stable cheese that you can rely on during an emergency..
The last position you want to find yourself in is opening your DIY powdered cheese during an emergency only to find that your stock has gone off. To ensure reliable food storage, I recommend sticking with a quality and reputable brand that you know you can count on.
About THE AUTHOR
I have over a decade of experience in food and beverage management, including a ServSafe food safety qualification. As part of this qualification, I have been professionally trained in safe food storage.Read More About Mark Walker