If you’re a fan of Italian cuisine, then you’ve probably used Parmesan cheese as a topping for your pasta, pizza, or salad. Parmesan cheese is known for its nutty and salty flavor that can enhance the taste of any dish. But have you ever wondered why there’s cellulose powder in your Parmesan cheese?
What Is Cellulose Powder?
Cellulose powder is a common food additive that’s made from the cellulose found in plants. It’s often used as a thickener, stabilizer, or texturizer in processed foods such as cheese, ice cream, and salad dressings. Cellulose powder is also known as microcrystalline cellulose (MCC) or powdered cellulose.
Why Is Cellulose Powder Added to Parmesan Cheese?
Parmesan cheese is made from milk that has been curdled and separated into solids and liquids. The solids are then pressed into molds and aged for several months to develop their distinct flavor and texture. However, during the aging process, Parmesan cheese can lose some of its moisture and become dry and crumbly.
To prevent this from happening, some manufacturers add cellulose powder to their Parmesan cheese. The cellulose powder acts as an anti-caking agent that helps to keep the cheese fresh and moist by absorbing excess moisture. This also makes it easier to grate the cheese without it clumping together.
Is Cellulose Powder Safe?
Yes, cellulose powder is generally considered safe for consumption by regulatory agencies such as the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). It’s classified as a food additive with an acceptable daily intake (ADI) limit of up to 25 mg/kg body weight.
However, some people may experience digestive issues such as bloating or gas if they consume large amounts of cellulose powder. This is because cellulose is a type of fiber that’s not easily digested by the human body. Therefore, it’s important to consume cellulose powder in moderation and as part of a balanced diet.
In conclusion, Parmesan cheese may contain cellulose powder as an anti-caking agent to keep it fresh and moist. While cellulose powder is generally safe for consumption, it’s important to consume it in moderation and as part of a balanced diet. So the next time you sprinkle some Parmesan cheese on your favorite dish, remember that the addition of cellulose powder helps to preserve its flavor and texture.