Jewel-Osco no longer sells Essential Everyday Parmesan Cheese. The U.S. supermarket chain took the product known as Essential Everyday 100% Parmesan Cheese off the shelves as one independent investigation conducted by Bloomberg found it contains 8.8 percent cellulose or wood pulp.
The Bloomberg investigation was published on February 16th and covered parmesan cheese from several brands and producers. According to the experts in the industry, the results of the Bloomberg investigation mirror concerns voiced nationwide. It’s possible that 20 percent of the parmesan cheese produced in the U.S. is mislabeled as it contains various percentages of cellulose. None of the parmesan cheese labels mentioned the wood pulp.
Cellulose is an additive commonly used in foods such as parmesan cheese to prevent it from clotting. The wood pulp derived additive is used predominantly in grated parmesan cheese such as the Essential Everyday 100% Parmesan Cheese. As a result of the Bloomberg investigation, Jewel-Osco no longer sells Essential Everyday Parmesan Cheese.
According to Dean Sommer who is a cheese technologist with the Center for Dairy Research (Madison, Wisconsin), it is sufficient to use 2 to 4 percent cellulose to prevent grated parmesan cheese from clumping. However, more than enough producers use well above 4 percent cellulose in an unjustified manner. Moreover, cellulose doesn’t appear on the products’ labels.
Jewel-Osco no longer sells Essential Everyday Parmesan Cheese with the supermarket chain recalling the product from all the 185 stores nationwide this Wednesday. Mary Frances Trucco with Jewel-Osco declared for Bloomberg that:
“Our supplier of the parmesan cheese is aware of the issue, and we look forward to learning more about their investigation”.
Meanwhile, the U.S. supermarket chain is replacing the Essential Everyday 100% Parmesan Cheese with the company’s Signature Brand. The Bloomberg investigation was sparked by concerns of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The federal regulator looked into Castle Cheese for similarly high levels of cellulose or wood pulp.
The Bloomberg investigation conducted independent tests on other grated parmesan cheese as well. Among them, Walmart’s Great Value Brand, Whole Foods 365 and Kraft’s grated parmesan cheese were under scrutiny.
The independent lab results showed that Walmart’s Great Value 100% Grated Parmesan Cheese contained 7.8 percent cellulose. Kraft’s product contained 3.8 percent cellulose, while Whole Foods contained 0.3 percent cellulose.