ABSTRACT: Cheddar cheese ripened at 8 °C was sampled at 7, 14, 28, 56, 112, and 168 d and subsequently used for the manufacture of processed cheese. The cheddar cheese samples were analyzed throughout ripening for proteolysis while the textural and rheological properties of the processed cheeses (PCs) were studied. The rate of proteolysis was the greatest in the first 28 d of cheddar cheese ripening but began to slow down as ripening progressed from 28 to 168 d. A similar trend was observed in changes to the texture of the PC samples, with the greatest decrease in hardness and increase in flowability being in the first 28 d of ripening. Confocal scanning laser microscopy showed that the degree of emulsification in the PC samples increased as the maturity of the cheddar cheese ingredient increased from 7 to 168 d. This increased emulsification resulted in a reduction in the rate of softening in the PC in samples manufactured from cheddar cheese bases at later ripening times. Multivariate data analysis was performed to summarize the relationships between proteolysis in the cheddar cheese bases and textural properties of the PC made therefrom. The proportion of αs1-casein (CN) in the cheddar cheese base was strongly correlated with hardness, adhesiveness, fracturability, springiness, and storage modulus values for the corresponding PC. Degradation of αs1-CN was the proteolytic event with the strongest correlation to the softening of PC samples, particularly those manufactured from cheddar cheese in the first 28 d of ripening.