Grated “Parmesan” cheese laced with cellulose or produced without using any Parmesan? It is quite sad to see that the name of such a great product (the real Parmesan cheese produced in Italy) is used to label stuff that does not even come close to the real thing. There should be a law against it!
Morale of the story: if you want to know what you are eating, and you should, go for the real thing.
Parmesan Cheese With Too Much Wood Pulled From Grocery Shelves
By Lydia Mulvany – 19 Feb 2016, 07:54:52
U.S. supermarket chain Jewel-Osco removed all of its Essential Everyday 100% Parmesan Cheese from shelves amid concerns about the use of cellulose, a food additive made from wood.
The move follows a Bloomberg News investigation published Feb. 16 that revealed a canister of the grated cheese tested by an independent laboratory contained 8.8 percent cellulose. A level of as much as 4 percent is deemed acceptable to meet federal regulations for what can be labeled Parmesan.
Jewel-Osco recalled the product from all 185 stores on Wednesday, spokeswoman Mary Frances Trucco said in an e-mail Thursday. The company’ is phasing out the brand and replacing it with its Jewel-Osco Signature Brand.
“Our supplier of the Parmesan cheese is aware of the issue, and we look forward to learning more about their investigation,” she said. The company didn’t identify its supplier.
Industry experts estimate 20 percent of domestically-produced Parmesan cheese may be mislabeled, largely due to fillers like cellulose in grated products.
Other retailers whose Parmesan was found in the same lab test to have more than 4 percent cellulose said they’re looking into the matter. Wal-Mart Stores Inc.’s Great Value 100% Grated Parmesan Cheese registered 7.8 percent, while the Whole Foods 365 brand tested at 0.3 percent despite not listing cellulose as an ingredient on the label. The companies didn’t immediately return requests for comment Thursday.
A U.S. Food and Drug Administration inspection of a cheese company in 2012, details of which were obtained by Bloomberg News through the Freedom of Information Act, said “no Parmesan cheese” was used in manufacturing Target Corp.’s Market Pantry brand 100% grated Parmesan Cheese, as well as Associated Wholesale Grocers Inc.’s Best Choice 100% Grated Parmesan Cheese. The two companies didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment Thursday.