Last Updated on January 10, 2023 by Aaron
Parmesan cheese is one of the most widely used cheeses in the world and a favorite of many. But is it gluten-free? The answer is yes! Parmesan cheese is naturally gluten-free, despite often being used in dishes that contain wheat and other grains such as breadcrumbs and pasta sauces.
The cheese itself can be safely enjoyed by those who are sensitive to gluten or suffer from celiac disease. This is because the ingredients of parmesan cheese — cow milk, rennet, salt, and bacteria culture — do not contain any gluten. Likewise for Parmigiano Reggiano.
With that being said, most store-bought parmesan (blocks, shredded, grated) are unlikely to contain gluten as well. The pre-packaged grated and shredded parmesan will usually have additives such as potassium sorbate and natamycin, but these are okay. But some others may have been dusted with anti-caking ingredients such as modified food starch (i.e. flour, corn, potato) or cellulose powder to prevent clumping. Generally, these ingredients are derived from gluten-free sources, but not always.
For example, if the label lists “modified food starch (wheat)” or wheat derivatives such as maltodextrin, then it may contain trace amounts of gluten. Also, if the facility handles other products that contain wheat, there might be a cross-contamination risk. See the images below:
The Gluten-free Parmesan Brands
To ease your worries and to be 100% sure that you’re consuming gluten-free cheese, you can opt for popular brands such as BelGioioso, Sargento, or Frigo. See the images below, these are some of the gluten-free parmesan cheeses that I’ve double-checked. There are many more brands, but I will not be able to cover all of them.
That’s everything you need to know about parmesan cheese and its gluten content! Also, if you are sensitive to gluten and have been eating parmesan cheese with no issues, please share your experience or any favorite brand in the comment section below to help other readers.