If you’re a fan of Italian cuisine, then you’re probably familiar with Parmesan cheese. It’s a staple ingredient in many Italian dishes and is known for its nutty and salty flavor.

However, there have been rumors circulating that Parmesan cheese is made of sawdust. In this article, we’ll explore whether or not there’s any truth to this claim.

What is Parmesan Cheese?

Parmesan cheese, also known as Parmigiano Reggiano, is a hard, aged cheese that originated in Italy. It’s made from cow’s milk and has a distinct grainy texture.

The production process involves heating the milk, adding rennet to coagulate it, cutting the curds, and then cooking them. The cheese is then molded and left to age for at least 12 months.

Where did the Sawdust Rumor Come From?

The rumor that Parmesan cheese is made of sawdust has been around for quite some time. It’s unclear where it originated from but it may have started as a mistranslation of an Italian term for sawdust-like protein crystals that sometimes form in the cheese during the aging process.

Another possible explanation for the rumor is that some producers may have added cellulose powder to their Parmesan cheese as a filler to cut costs. Cellulose powder is derived from wood pulp and can mimic the texture of grated Parmesan cheese.

Is There Any Truth to the Sawdust Rumor?

The short answer is no – Parmesan cheese is not made of sawdust. While some producers may add cellulose powder as a filler, this practice is illegal in many countries including Italy and the United States.

In fact, authentic Parmigiano Reggiano can only be produced in certain regions of Italy using specific methods and ingredients. The Consorzio del Formaggio Parmigiano Reggiano, an organization that oversees the production of Parmesan cheese, has strict regulations in place to ensure that only high-quality cheese is produced.


In conclusion, the rumor that Parmesan cheese is made of sawdust is false. While some producers may have added cellulose powder as a filler in the past, this practice is illegal and not commonly used. If you’re a fan of Parmesan cheese, you can rest assured that it’s made from high-quality ingredients and is a delicious addition to many dishes.