Is Mozzarella Gluten-free​?

There is a common misconception believing that cheese may contain gluten, which is not quite right.

Most of the natural original cheese is made from milk, and they don’t contain any sort of gluten. Unless processed or contaminated, or else you almost never find gluten in the freshly made cheese such as mozzarella, cheddar, swiss, brie, Parmigiano Reggiano, gorgonzola, and feta.

Firstly, we have to understand what gluten is.

Gluten is a group of protein primarily comes from various cereal grains, such as wheat, barley, rye, and oats.

It is true that some people are sensitive to the gluten, which may lead to indigestion, allergy and many other immunological conditions.

Gluten are the specific group of protein found in the grains. But does it have anything to do with cheese?

Why is gluten in cheese?

Does it mean that you should never worry about gluten in cheese anymore, right? nope, gluten could still be there. Let’s move on to what ingredients used in making the cheese.

I will explain.

Although gluten not naturally present in the cheese/milk, it could be in grain-related ingredients which added during the cheesemaking process.

One example would be the mozzarella sticks.

As we previously discussed here about the “supposedly” healthy mozzarella stick, two of the common ingredients used in the making of the sticks are flours and breadcrumbs.

And these ingredients containing a good amount of gluten. So it’s hidden, the gluten is in your mozzarella sticks.

Next, we have another ingredient to mozzarella cheese — vinegar, especially for homemade mozzarella.

Most people would use citric acid to add into the milk to form curds, the vinegar is a common replacement for citric acid, as explained here. And some vinegar you bought from the store is derived from malt (of grain barley), which contains a certain amount of gluten as well.

How to solve that?

A good way is to use only the plain distilled vinegar, but not the flavored one like apple cider.

Same goes for the salt, you should look carefully at the label for those flavored and smoked salt. Only the plain salt is gluten-free. As for lactic acid, citric acid and rennet, these ingredients don’t naturally contain gluten.

Here i covered some of the alternative for dairy-free vegan cheese here.

What about the shredded mozzarella?

As for the shredded mozzarella, or other shredded cheeses, some of the added ingredients may contain a trace amount of gluten in them. These include the cream (check ingredients) and powdered cellulose.

For your information,

corn starch and potato starch do not contain gluten. These are a great replacement for gluten flours. They were used as an anti-caking agent during the cheesemaking.

Other than gluten, these are the 4 reasons why you could be allergic to cheese.

Sum up

The mozzarella cheese itself don’t contain gluten, but the ingredients inevitably containing a trace amount of gluten.

If you can tolerate a very little amount of gluten, I would strongly suggest to get yourself a fresh cheese. No worries, see this one I found on Amazon for you.

For those in keto diet, this article is extremely helpful to you!

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