Aqueous dispersions of soluble hydrocolloids replaced lipids in process cheese spreads. About 40% and 50% fat reduction was obtained relative to a control cheese spread containing 25% fat by increasing moisture to 62% and 68%, respectively, and eliminating a portion of fat from the formulation. Xanthan, λ-carrageenan, three types of high-methoxyl pectin, propylene glycol alginate, low-viscosity guar and Zooglan 115 gums were added to process cheese spreads at 0.18% to 4.1% wet basis. Spreads with 2.2%λ -carrageenan, 1.7% to 2.2% pectin or 1.7% low-viscosity guar had textures consistent with a high-fat cheese control. Above these gum levels, cheese spread firmness (by Instron measure) increased while melt decreased. A 15% fat, 62% moisture cheese spread with 1.7% pectin was most like the control. In sensory studies it was less preferred than a control spread (25% fat, 48% moisture) due partially to less flavor.