The ingredient in your cheese they didn’t want you to know about

Do you love cheese? So many of us do, and when we buy a block or bag of cheese, it’s

Do you love cheese? So many of us do, and when we buy a block or bag of cheese, it’s natural to assume what we’re buying is the real deal. Apparently not, says the FDA.

According to the FDA, cheeses labelled “100 per cent Parmesan” are often filled with cheese substitutes…like wood pulp. Yes that’s right – the cheese you put on your meals and in your salads could contain wood, reports TIME.

Their investigation alleged home brand products in the US contained around 8 per cent cellulose, and popular brand in Australia, Kraft, allegedly had 3.8 percent cellulose in their parmesan.

The US Food and Drug Administration were acting on a tip and made a surprise visit to a cheese factory in rural Pennsylvania as far back as 2012.

They found what they were looking for: evidence that Castle Cheese Inc. was doctoring its 100 per cent real parmesan with cut-rate substitutes and such fillers as wood pulp and distributing it to some of the country’s biggest grocery chains, reports Bloomberg.

Castle President Michelle Myrter is scheduled to plead guilty this month to criminal charges and faces up to a year in prison and a $100,000 fine.

So how serious is the problem? Bloomberg News had store-bought grated cheese tested for wood-pulp content by an independent laboratory.

Cellulose is a safe additive, and an acceptable level is 2 percent to 4 percent, according to Dean Sommer, a cheese technologist at the Center for Dairy Research.

“We remain committed to the quality of our products,” Michael Mullen, a Kraft Heinz Co. spokesman, said in an e-mail.

According to the FDA’s report on Castle, obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, “no parmesan cheese was used to manufacture” products that said they contained parmesan.

It really makes you wonder what might be in our Australian products.

Representatives at the accused companies said they were investigating these findings.

Share your thoughts below.

  1. Nothing really shocks an over 60. We come from the we lived real life era.

    • we did, but on your toes now!
      It is cheating and they’ve lost their craft…. It seems that just about all purchased foods are not food

    • Totally agree Wendy. It is never what we think. And to find another food is not up to par.. Just fails to shock me. This world we live in now is a world of doing everything you can get away with.

  2. The Parmesan I buy comes from Italy, not a food giant like Kraft. Whether that’s any better, I don’t know.

    • If you buy Parmesan in big solid blocks you should be fine. It should be fairly crumbly in texture. I too buy Italian Parmesan but if I could find a good Australian Parmesan I would buy it.

    • if you buy the real Parmesan(Parmiggiano reggiano) the only one that should be called Parmesan ,no problems,it is a very natural cheese,no preservatives,made in a small area in northen Italy.All other cheeses made outside this area should be known as Grana ,eg.( if made in Australia ) Australian Grana etc.It is very expensive,at over 40dollars if bought in a piece of over 1kg,smaller pieces are sold at over $50.Never seen it sold grated.Ingredients ,milk,salt, rennet.

  3. Mine too, but do we know who really owns these brands.I for one will be researching.

  4. O, not cheese, I am disappointed re those findings, cos I love cheese, it seems we can’t believe what ‘s written on the packet anymore, what next!!!!! 😳

    • Did you ever believe what is written on the packet, as I said the other day, who checks these products to make sure what it says on the packet is correct ?

  5. Its not only the parmesan Unless you buy the dearer and better cheese slices I reckon there is more than just wood in the make

  6. Susanne Otto  

    One of our two big supermarkets is selling pre-cooked, shredded beef, chicken or pork which contains bamboo fibre. I haven’t bought it since the first time.

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