Have you ever wondered how much sawdust is allowed in Parmesan cheese? The answer may surprise you.
First, it’s important to note that not all Parmesan cheeses are created equal. True Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, which is made in Italy and aged for at least 12 months, has strict regulations and quality control measures in place to ensure its authenticity and purity. However, other types of “Parmesan” cheese that are made outside of Italy may not adhere to the same standards.
According to the FDA, there is no specific limit on the amount of sawdust that can be present in grated Parmesan cheese. In fact, some manufacturers have been known to add cellulose powder (which is derived from wood pulp) to their grated Parmesan cheese as a filler and anti-clumping agent.
While cellulose powder is generally regarded as safe for consumption, it’s not exactly what consumers expect when they purchase a product labeled as “Parmesan cheese.” The addition of fillers like sawdust or cellulose can also impact the flavor and texture of the cheese.
So how can you ensure that you’re getting high-quality, authentic Parmesan cheese? Look for products that are labeled “Parmigiano-Reggiano” and check the ingredients list to make sure there are no fillers or additives. Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese should have a nutty, slightly sweet flavor with a firm but crumbly texture.
In conclusion, while there is technically no limit on the amount of sawdust that can be present in grated Parmesan cheese, it’s important to be aware of what you’re consuming. Opt for authentic Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese whenever possible and check the ingredients list to ensure that your cheese is free from fillers and additives.