Ökotest checks Parmesan cheese – a cheese performs well

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Parmesan cheese has a long Tradition, it is origin protected and may only be used in certain Italian regions, is made. But animal welfare plays in the production, apparently only a minor role, shows the current “Ökotest”-Check. 16 cheese were tested, including four Bio-products. “Ökotest” wanted to know from the manufacturers the way of life of the cows that supply the milk for the cheese? You are allowed to pasture? You were being dehorned without anesthesia? Only a few manufacturers show themselves to be transparent and provide information to the supply chain. Another Problem: a Lot of cheese with high oil kept.

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especially the Grazing recognize it is bad in the Parmigiano-Reggiano Region: around 70 milk, of which “Ökotest” information has been received, only a single operation of his cows to the pasture. Most operators keep their cows in the barn. Organic animals, it goes a little better: in Laufhöfe and exercise more. All the animals in the Test were being dehorned. Organic farms have the animals in front of the painful numb procedure; in the case of conventional attitude, that is not the case.

Only a Parmesan cheese in the Check scores of “good”. The winner of the test is the organic cheese “Alnatura Parmigiano Reggiano”. The manufacturer scores with the auditors with transparency and can name the entire supply chain and supporting documents.

Good ingredients, bad pollutants

Parmesan cheese-cows need to be fed according to regulations with a lot of hay and Grass. The later cheese contains especially a lot of valuable Omega-3 fatty acids. Laboratory analyses confirm that the animals rule were fed according to. Would be allowed to have, theoretically, still soy as a protein supplier. However, the is often genetically modified. Many manufacturers fight to demand that you use genetically modified feed. Show the not but.

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A less nice find: a Lot of Parmesan cheese are loaded with mineral oil. In the ten cheeses, the values are increased to “strong” to “very strong”. Especially cheese from Lidl, Rewe, Ferrari and Terre di Montagna. Where the loads originate is unclear. Conceivable contamination by lubricating oils in the production would be about. Also when Sealing the packaging, the critical ingredients can be released into the cheese.

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Not to be confused Parmesan may be with a other Italian hard cheeses: the Grana Padano. The cheeses differ little in taste, but the regulations in the production of Grana Padano are, overall, less stringent, writes “Ökotest”. May be used in the feeding of the animals, straw and corn silage. Grana Padano also contains lysozyme, an enzyme and a preservative that acts against microorganisms. Also in the ripening time of the cheese vary: Grana Padano is aged for at least nine months – Parmesan in contrast, twelve.

The full test results are available for a fee here.

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Steve King
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