Does Parmesan Cheese Have Pasteurized?

When it comes to cheese, there are various types and varieties to choose from. One popular option is Parmesan cheese.

However, if you’re concerned about the safety of consuming raw or unpasteurized cheese, you may be wondering if Parmesan cheese is pasteurized. In this article, we will explore whether Parmesan cheese goes through the pasteurization process or not.

What is Pasteurization?

Pasteurization is a process that involves heating food, typically liquids such as milk or juice, to a specific temperature for a set period of time. This process helps eliminate harmful bacteria and pathogens that may be present in the food, making it safer for consumption.

Pasteurization and Cheese

Cheese can be made from either pasteurized or unpasteurized milk. Some cheeses are required by law to be made from pasteurized milk due to safety concerns. However, other cheeses can be made from either type of milk.

The Production of Parmesan Cheese

Parmesan cheese, also known as Parmigiano Reggiano, is an Italian hard cheese that has been produced for centuries. The production of this cheese involves specific regulations and traditional methods.

  • Milk Source: The milk used for making Parmesan cheese comes from cows that are primarily fed on fresh grass and hay.
  • Cooking Process: After the milk is collected, it undergoes a cooking process where it is heated to a specific temperature.
  • Curd Formation and Aging: Once the cooking process is completed, natural whey starter cultures and rennet are added to facilitate curd formation. The curds are then left to age for a minimum of 12 months.

Pasteurization and Parmesan Cheese

Traditionally, Parmesan cheese is made from raw, unpasteurized milk. This is one of the factors that contribute to its unique flavor and characteristics. However, it’s important to note that not all Parmesan cheese is made from unpasteurized milk.

While traditional Parmesan cheese is made from raw milk, some versions available in the market may be made from pasteurized milk. This is especially true for mass-produced or industrial varieties that need to comply with food safety regulations.

When purchasing Parmesan cheese, it’s essential to read the product label or ask the manufacturer or retailer about the production process. If you specifically want unpasteurized Parmesan cheese, look for labels indicating “made from raw milk” or “unpasteurized.”


Parmesan cheese can be made from both pasteurized and unpasteurized milk. Traditional varieties are typically made from raw milk, which gives them their distinct flavors and characteristics. However, commercial versions may use pasteurized milk to meet safety standards.

If you have concerns about consuming raw or unpasteurized cheese due to health reasons, always check the label or consult with the manufacturer or retailer to ensure you are making an informed choice when purchasing Parmesan cheese.