American cheese is processed cheese made from a blend of milk, milk fats and solids, other fats and whey protein concentrate. Earlier, it was made from a mixture of cheeses, more often than not Colby and Cheddar. Since blended cheeses are no longer used, it cannot be legally called “cheese” and has to be labelled as “processed cheese”, “cheese product“, etc. Sometimes, it is called "American slices" or "American singles" instead of the word cheese. Under the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations, American cheese is a type of pasteurised processed cheese.
The taste and texture of American cheese vary depending on the usage of cheese and additives. Also, the colour may change from orange and yellow to white from manufacturer to manufacturer. Processed American cheese is sold in three varieties – individually wrapped cheese slices, small pre-sliced blocks and large blocks.
Although criticized for its high fat and sodium content, American cheese is still used in cooking as it melts well and contains a good amount of calcium and protein.