Difference Between Yellow and White Cheese
By Andrew Parker - April 19, 2022

Pizza, risotto, quesadilla, cheeseburgers, cheesecake, poutine, fondue – the list of dishes that require cheese as one of their main ingredients is endless. At the same time, the selection of cheese varieties most supermarkets carry is also endless. If you have ever wondered why a recipe might call for feta while another requires cheddar, this article will help you understand the difference between white and yellow cheese.

Table Summary

White CheeseYellow Cheese
Naturally whiteNaturally or artificially dyed
Close up hand holding cutting board with cheese

Getty Images / Moment / istetiana


White cheese is made by adding a coagulant to milk, which causes it to solidify into clumps. Known as curds, these clumps are strained to get rid of excess liquid and mixed with fat. It is the amount of fat that will determine the consistency of the cheese. Its white color, however, actually comes from the citric acid used to treat the milk prior to being drained and curdled.

While it is made the same way as white cheese, yellow cheese can be naturally or artificially colored. It can be naturally yellow if it comes from a cow that had a healthy diet rich in beta-carotene or it can be artificially dyed with annatto. Although it might sound unhealthy, annatto is a plant-based coloring, so it does not affect the taste or nutritional value of your cheese.

White Cheese VS Yellow Cheese

If you were wondering whether white cheese is healthier than yellow cheese, the answer is: no. The difference in color between them is not related to their nutritional value. When it comes to making sure you are maintaining healthy eating habits, you should not be worried about whether your cheese is white or yellow. What you should be considering, actually, is how much sodium and saturated fat each specific type of cheese has.