Velveeta is the brand name of a processed cheese product having a taste that is identified as a type of American cheese with a texture that is softer and smoother. It was first made in 1908 by Caleb Hommel of the Monroe Cheese Company in Monroe, New York. In 1923, The Velveeta Cheese Company was incorporated as a separate company, and was sold to Kraft Foods in 1927. The product was advertised for its nutrition. According to Kraft's website, in the 1930s, Velveeta became the first cheese product to gain the American Medical Association's seal of approval. It was reformulated in 1953 as a cheese spread. Velveeta is labeled in the United States as a "Pasteurized Recipe Cheese Product" (see processed cheese). The name 'Velveeta' is intended to connote a velvety smooth edible product. Smoothness and meltability are promoted as its iconic properties that result by reincorporating the whey with the curd. The product was spun off into a line of food products based on Velveeta.
In 2002, the FDA issued a Warning Letter to Kraft that Velveeta was being sold with packaging that described it as a "Pasteurized Process Cheese Spread," which the FDA claimed was misbranded because the product declared milk protein concentrate (MPC) in its ingredients listing. Velveeta is now sold in the US as a "Pasteurized Prepared Cheese Product," a term for which the FDA does not maintain a standard of identity, and which therefore may contain MPC.
As is the case with most processed cheeses, the manufacturer recommends Velveeta be refrigerated after opening.