If you’re a fan of Italian cuisine, then you must have come across grated Parmesan cheese at some point. This hard, granular cheese is a staple ingredient in many dishes, from pasta to pizza.
However, there have been rumors circulating that grated Parmesan cheese contains sawdust as a filler. Is there any truth to this claim? Let’s examine the facts.
Firstly, it’s important to know that grated Parmesan cheese is made from real Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. This means that it’s not an imitation product made from artificial ingredients or fillers. Authentic Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese is made from milk, rennet (an enzyme used in the production of cheese), and salt – nothing else.
So where does the rumor about sawdust come from? In 2016, an investigation by Bloomberg News revealed that some brands of grated Parmesan cheese contained cellulose – a type of plant fiber often derived from wood pulp.
Cellulose is sometimes added to grated cheese products as an anti-caking agent. It prevents the cheese from clumping together and makes it easier to sprinkle.
However, it’s worth noting that cellulose is not the same thing as sawdust. Sawdust is created when wood is cut or ground into small pieces, while cellulose is extracted from plant material such as wood pulp or cotton fibers. While they may look similar, sawdust and cellulose have different properties and uses.
Furthermore, the use of cellulose in grated Parmesan cheese products is legal and approved by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration). The FDA permits food manufacturers to add up to 2% cellulose to grated cheeses without labeling it as an ingredient.
In short, grated Parmesan cheese does not contain sawdust as a filler. Some brands may contain cellulose – a plant fiber derived from wood pulp – but this is not harmful to human health and is used for a specific purpose (anti-caking). It’s important to check the ingredients label on grated cheese products before purchasing to ensure that you’re getting a high-quality product.
In conclusion, it’s safe to say that grated Parmesan cheese does not contain sawdust. The rumor likely stems from confusion between cellulose – a plant fiber used in some grated cheese products – and sawdust, which is not used in food production.
As always, it’s important to do your research and read ingredient labels carefully when shopping for food products. With that said, don’t let this rumor stop you from enjoying the delicious flavor of Parmesan cheese in your favorite dishes!