Parmesan cheese is a popular ingredient in many dishes, especially Italian cuisine. It adds a distinct flavor and texture to dishes like pasta, pizza, and salads. However, recent reports have raised concerns about the amount of wood pulp found in Parmesan cheese.
Wood pulp, also known as cellulose, is a common food additive used to prevent clumping and improve texture. It’s often added to grated cheese products to prevent them from sticking together. However, some manufacturers have been found to use excessive amounts of wood pulp in their Parmesan cheese products.
In 2016, an investigation by Bloomberg Businessweek found that some brands of grated Parmesan cheese contained up to 8.8% cellulose. That’s more than twice the amount allowed under FDA regulations, which state that cellulose should not exceed 4% in grated cheese products.
The excessive use of wood pulp in Parmesan cheese is not just a health concern but also an issue of consumer fraud. Consumers are paying a premium for real Parmesan cheese but are instead getting a product that’s mostly made up of cheap fillers.
To avoid consuming excessive amounts of wood pulp in your Parmesan cheese, it’s important to choose reputable brands that use high-quality ingredients and adhere to FDA regulations. Look for labels that list only natural ingredients like milk, salt, enzymes, and rennet.
Another option is to buy whole pieces of Parmesan cheese instead of pre-grated ones. You can grate the cheese yourself at home using a fine grater or microplane. This way you can be sure that you’re getting real Parmesan without any added fillers or preservatives.
In conclusion, while wood pulp is commonly used as an additive in grated Parmesan cheese products, it’s important to be aware of the excessive amounts being used by some manufacturers. To ensure you’re getting real Parmesan without any added fillers or preservatives, choose reputable brands or buy whole pieces and grate them yourself at home.