The structure of an imitation cheese with low protein content was developed by replacing 80% of the rennet casein with waxy maize starch and kappa-carrageenan in the formula. Starch was partially hydrolyzed by using a fungal alpha-amylase to provide meltability. Formulation studies were carried out to obtain meltability and textural properties of a hard cheese with high protein content in the developed cheese. Response Surface method was used to determine the effects of alpha-amylase and kappa-carrageenan on the physical properties of the cheese. Hardness, cohesiveness and springiness of the cheese were affected positively by kappa-carrageenan and negatively by or alpha-amylase. Square of the meltability scores was used to explain the effects of components on meltability of the cheese. Square of the meltability was affected positively by alpha-amylase and negatively by kappa-carrageenan. A formula was determined by using multiple response optimization method that would provide hardness, cohesiveness and meltability in the developed cheese similar to those of the high protein counterpart used as targets. Results obtained from a trial cheese produced according to the determined formula confirmed that the values of physical properties estimated by the optimization can be achieved. (C) 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.