Not all products made in the U.S have accuracy levels.
The FDA has announced that the “100% real” cheese is not a cheese at all.
Parmesan cheese is usually more expensive than other cheeses, and that’s why manufacturers bulk the products with cellulose, and make more profits.
Cellulose is agent made from wood pulp, and it is ok if we consume naturally-occurred cellulose from fruits and vegetable. But this one from wood that is found in products is not healthy at all.

fake parmesan cheese

In fact, it is accepted additive and also safe only if it’s 2-4 % of the cheese.
But, cheese companies don’t follow this recommendation. They don’t even disclose that they use cellulose in their products.

In the products labeled as 100 % grated Parmesan Cheese, the FDA didn’t find parmesan at all.
They found mozzarella, swiss cheese, white cheddar and cellulose.

How Is This Legal?

Well, it isn’t. In Europe, the ingredients found in American cheeses are illegal!
American cheese contains: Potassium sorbate, Cellulose powder and other cheese cultures that are completely banned in Europe.
European Parmigiano- Reggian contains three simple ingredients: milk from the Parma/Reggio region, salt and rennet, which is a natural enzyme.
Since the 1950 the FDA has different standards, and regulates what can be called Parmesan.

The Parmigiano Reggiano Consortium, Rome trade group, asked the European Union to protect its manufacturers from U.S. companies which, they believe, use Italian flags and cheese names on the products that actually are not true Italian products.

What Brands Are The Worst?

These are the products with higher content of cellulose that the FDA allows:
1. Whole Foods 365 brand: 0.3 %
2. Castle Cheese Inc.: 2-4 %
3. Kraft parmesan: 3.8%
4. Great Value 100% Grated Parmesan Cheese: 7.8%
5. Essential Everyday 100% Grated Parmesan Cheese: 8.8%

How To Avoid Parmesan Replicate?

First of all, don’t buy pre-shredded cheese.
To be sure, buy the products from Italian groceries and look for an authentic Italian name.

 

Sources:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/larryolmsted/2012/11/19/the-dark-side-of-parmesan-cheese-what-you-dont-know-might-hurt-you/#7246bcee71be

http://dailyhealthpost.com/fake-parmesan-cheese-contains-wood-pulp/2/

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/the-not-so-grate-news-about-the-wood-pulp-in-your-parmesan-cheese-a6878956.html