What enzymes or starter culture are used in your products?
Basically, there are four types of rennet
|1. Swine||2. Calves||3. Microbial derived||4. Chymax|
Because of scarcity of calves' rennet in the past, swine rennet was sometimes used in whole or in part to "stretch" the supply. With the advent of microbial produced rennet and Chymax, it is our understanding that the use of swine rennet has been discontinued. Calves rennet has been the historical standard of the industry. Generally, we can say that it is mainly the small and specialty cheese makers that have remained with calf's rennet and feel that it imparts some unique characteristics into their product.
Great Lakes Cheese domestic products from our Hiram, Ohio plant and from our Wisconsin and Utah plants are made using microbial or chymosin rennet. The active ingredient in microbial produced rennet is an enzyme produced in nature. It is produced by a mold from the vegetable kingdom. Therefore, it is a natural, vegetable, protein-coagulating enzyme. Chymax is a standardized solution of fermentation-produced chymosin, a protein-coagulating enzyme from bacteria.
Lipase is an enzyme derived from edible kid and lamb tissues and is used for flavor development in some Italian cheeses. Provolone, Romano, Parmesan, Asiago, and Fontina are examples. Therefore, if I were trying to stay away from animal derived enzymes, those are cheeses that I would avoid.
Because of the wide geographical area from which the ingredients of our process cheeses are sourced, we cannot be certain they are free of animal enzymes. Thus, if I were trying to avoid the consumption of animal derived enzymes, I would also avoid the American slices, Cheese Food slices, Cheese Spread slices, and American and Cheese Spread loaves.