Recent testing has shown that Parmesan cheese could make an excellent source for adding wood pulp into your diet, if your seeking to eat this ingredient that comes from trees! Since most folks aren’t, these latest reports are a bit disturbing. This is especially true when you take into consideration that the labels on many of these Parmesan cheese products that have wood pulp strewn in with their ingredients, but advertise that they contain 100% Parmesan cheese.
When your grandmother would suggest that you need more roughage in your diet, as she watched you consume junk food, she probably didn’t have this in mind. Some of the brands tested showed to contain an extraordinary amount of wood pulp in their ingredients, but this wasn’t found on their labels. Some of these brands were labeled 100% Parmesan cheese, despite containing the ingredient derived from wood pulp, reports MSN News on February 17.
Unless you are a beaver, you probably are not going to appreciate a brand of Parmesan cheese that consists of close to 9% wood pulp, which is what the cheese from Jewel Osco offered. Testing of the Jewel Osco Parmesan cheese showed it contained 8.8 % cellulose, which was the highest amount of all the Parmesan cheese brands tested.
Cellulose is the common anti- clumping agent made from wood pulp and considered a safe additive with an acceptable level of 2% to 4%, according to Dean Sommer, a cheese technologist at the Center for Dairy Research in Madison, Wisconsin. According to USA Today, “An independent laboratory test found that products like Walmart store’s Great Value 100% grated Parmesan cheese registered 7.8% cellulose, Jewel-Osco’s Essential Everyday 100% Parmesan cheese was 8.8% cellulose and Kraft had 3.8% cellulose.”
If you want wood pulp in your diet, you can easily do this yourself and you can even pick out the type of wood you want to ingest. This is not what most people want, especially when it comes in a hidden form that’s inconspicuously strewn in with the ingredients and not labeled. According to the video above, the only way you are going to make sure there is no wood pulp in your Parmesan cheese is to buy the cheese whole and grate it yourself.
Another problem is that some cheese labeled 100% Parmesan didn’t contain any of Parmesan cheese. Instead it contained a mixture of cheaper cheeses to manufacture. It seems the FDA was acting on a tip when they paid a visit to a rural Pennsylvania cheese factory looking for the evidence that Castle Cheese was getting extravagant with the additive cellulose.
MSN reports “They (FDA) found what they were looking for: evidence that Castle Cheese Inc. was doctoring its 100 percent real Parmesan with cut-rate substitutes and such fillers as wood pulp and distributing it to some of the country’s biggest grocery chains.”
This left Castle’s president Michelle Myrter facing a possible $100,000 fine and up to a year in prison when she pleads guilty this month, as she’s expected to do, to these criminal charges. This company distributes their wood pulp–laced cheese to some of the country’s biggest grocery outlets.
Castle wasn’t a lone cheese company when it came to putting fillers, such as wood pulp in their cheese. MSN News reports that “Some grated Parmesan suppliers have been mislabeling products by filling them with too much cellulose, or using cheaper cheddar, instead of real Romano.”