Coronary heart disease sufferer and senior food industry executive John Goddard is originally from Wakefield but has lived in Ludlow for the last 20 years having married a woman from Bridgnorth.
The result of several years of work is Fit Cheese, an both ultra-low cholesterol cheddar that is suitable for those who love cheese but are watching what they eat.
John said: “Like many of us, I chose to ignore the risks of eating foods that are not good for you. I was always eating cheese, cream, in fact all dairy, red meat, fat, you name it I ate it."
John had always wondered about the possibility of making a low cholesterol cheese with vegetable oil, but it wasn’t until 2016 when he began to suffer from heart disease that he decided to step up his efforts to develop what he saw as the holy grail.
His efforts were put on hold as he was forced to undergo a difficult triple bypass operation in 2017 that resulted in debilitating secondary health issues. However, by late 2018 he did trials on a product that gave you the taste and versatility of cheddar cheese but with no cholesterol, perfecting it in 2019.
He added: “Given what then happened to me, and the fact that I take statins, I decided make a cheese that was good for you - virtually cholesterol free and had all the taste.
“I didn’t want to enter the cholesterol reduction market which already had bone fide products. To me the simplest way to avoid cholesterol issues was not to eat it in the first place.
“By late 2018 I had achieved something like that. A cheese where the fat comes from healthy vegetable oil. It took well into 2019 before we perfected it, and in the process, we had to write off thousands of kilos of stock that didn’t make the grade. But we got there.
“We developed a process that allowed us to make the cheese in the same way as cheddar, using the cheddaring process."
Early efforts to market the product to schools and other institutions that were required by the UK Government to buy low saturated fat products were hit by the effects of the Covid pandemic which saw the market collapse overnight.
But this year Fit Cheese has successfully been launched by John, working with Buckinghamshire-based company Bisham Foods.
Bisham Foods is now expanding its production and is in talks with supermarkets about getting Fit Cheese onto their shelves.