There is a common misconception believing that cheese may contain gluten, which is not 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 will never find gluten in the freshly made cheese, these including mozzarella, cheddar, swiss, brie, Parmigiano Reggiano, gorgonzola, and feta.
So first, 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. Some people are sensitive to the gluten, which can lead to indigestion, allergy and many other
Why is gluten in cheese?
With that being said, you shouldn’t worry about gluten in cheese anymore, right? nope. Although gluten didn’t come from the cheese, it may still appear in many other grain-related ingredients which added during or after the manufacturing process. One excellent example would be the mozzarella sticks.
As we previously talked (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 substantial amount of gluten. Unless specified, the gluten is going to be in your mozzarella sticks.
Next, we have another common ingredient in the making of mozzarella cheese — vinegar. As we would normally use citric acid to aggregate the milk to form curds, the vinegar is a common replacement for citric acid. And unfortunately, some of the vinegar you bought at the store is derived from malt (of grain barley), which contains a certain amount of gluten as well. So, one good way is to use a 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. Plain salt is gluten-free. As for lactic acid, citric acid and rennet, these ingredients don’t naturally contain gluten.
Read here: Is it possible to make mozzarella without citric acid? Yes and explained.
What about the shredded mozzarella?
As for the shredded mozzarella, or other shredded cheeses, some of the added ingredients may contain a little amount of gluten with them. These include 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 in cheesemaking.
As the real cheese shouldn’t contain gluten, many of the cheese by-products do contain a certain amount of gluten. Some are unavoidable for manufacturing or storing purpose. If you can only tolerate a very little amount of gluten, I would suggest to get yourself a fresh cheese and shredded them yourself.
Talking about gluten-free and cheese, look at this one I found on Amazon for you.