Why cheese is not (necessarily) vegetarian


in Principle, has not changed the manufacture of cheese in the course of the centuries, apart from the technological advances, which change the work flow enormously.

especially with people who don’t eat meat, cheese is very popular. Vegetarians, for example, only eat products that come from the live animal, and to avoid therefore foods like fish and meat. Who does not know: Strictly speaking, would have to be a vegetarian without cheese.

cheese customer

How do you actually Emmentaler?

As for the classic cheese manufacture is used the milk of living animals, but for the clotting, you need an animal enzyme. For this we used the traditional way, the Lab, the from the stomach of young calves in the milk-drinking age is obtained. The animal is slaughtered and its parts, such as meat and bones used. The Lab is a mixture of the enzymes Chymosin and Pepsin, which is needed to precipitate the milk proteins in the manufacture of cheese. This can also be produced microbially or in combination with lactic acid bacteria added.For almost all of the well-known Hard and semi-hard cheese types but you need a Lab. Fresh cheese may contain animal rennet. Usually, the is made but with lactic acid bacteria from curd or yogurt.

There is an Alternative

The amount that is needed of animal rennet for cheese making, but is rather limited. Only about 35 percent of the world’s cheese production can be produced with natural rennet. The Rest is made with Alternatives.

Mainly with microbial rennet. Based on cultured fungal cultures, through their metabolism, a clotting enzyme obtained. Its advantages: It is unlimited to multiply and is many times cheaper than natural rennet. Especially in the case of vegetarians cheese with microbial rennet is very popular. The disadvantage: In case of longer ripening cheese bitter peptides can originate.

An Alternative to natural enzymes Chymosin, which is produced with the help of genetically modified microorganisms. For the production of organic food the substance is prohibited.

100,000 tons annually

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in addition, there are plant species, the protein gap have features such as Labkräuter, Papayas, or figs. The plant-Lab brings in the cheese unusual taste results and is therefore used only rarely.

International Lab as a production auxiliary, and not as a food additive classified. This means the fabric is not declarable and is usually not listed on the packaging. In whole foods markets, is now different: Almost always will indicate whether or not animal rennet or one of the Substitutes was used. Who wants to be on the safe side, if a cheese contains animal rennet, you must ask the manufacturer. The vegetarian Alliance has published a few years ago a list of what cheeses, what kind of Lab use. Which you can view here.

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