I was under the impression from what I have read/DOP specification that only rennet was to be used for Parmigiano Reggiano.

Milk coagulation, obtained exclusively by the use of calf rennet, takes place in bell-shaped copper vats; up to two wheels are made for each vat.

Yet, I come across many Parmigiano Reggiano cheeses imported from Italy with the real Reggiano logo and the DOP symbol (e.g. Tre Stelle, Italissima, President's Choice, Compliments, etc.)

Is it just a loophole in the specification and found only in lower-end Parmasen Reggiano?


1 Answer 1


The bacterial cultures are what the document you quoted from refers to as "fermented whey". The previous paragraph in the Specification of the Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese from the Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese Consortium web site reads as follows:

Fermented whey is added to the milk, which is a natural culture of lactic ferments obtained from spontaneous acidification of the whey remaining from the cheese-making process of the previous day.

All Paramgiano Reggiano cheeses would have these bacterial cultures in them, not just the cheap ones.

  • I see, that makes sense. Do some just not list it? As well, the President's Choice I linked above has lysoszyme, so still a mystery on that. Nov 15, 2017 at 3:55
  • 2
    @AdamThompson I'd guess the absence of bacterial cultures in the ingredient list is an oversight. Apparently virtually all Grana Padano cheese uses lysoszyme as a preservative so it appearing on the ingredient list on the web site might just be a cut and paste error.
    – Ross Ridge
    Nov 15, 2017 at 4:13

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