Does Mozzarella Cheese Have Rennet? Rennet Free Cheese Alternatives

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Rennet is an enzyme that is not vegetarian friendly, is made from the stomach of calves, and is one of the main ingredients used in cheese production. The enzyme helps the milk curdle and gives the cheese a distinct flavor and texture. 

In the past, rennet was extracted from the stomach lining of newborn calves. This enzyme helps in the digestion of milk. Adult cows do not produce chymosin. Extracting chymosin involves washing and drying the lining of the calves’ stomachs and macerating them in a solution of boric acid and brine for 4-5 days. In recent times, rennet has been replaced by pepsin.

However, there’s much more to know about which substitutes you can choose with a vegetarian-friendly diet. Within the next few minutes, you should know all about it! So without any further ado, let’s dive into “does mozzarella cheese rennet,” “rennet-free cheese names,” and how to avoid rennet completely.

Does Mozzarella Cheese Have Rennet?

Does Mozzarella Cheese Have Rennet

Mozzarella cheese is the most popularly used cheese made with rennet. Other dairy products that may contain rennet include basic Parmesan, Pecorino Romano, Grana Paddo, and Gorgonzola. You can also find vegetarian-friendly cheese in the vegan section of most supermarkets.

If you’re strictly vegetarian, you’ll probably want to avoid cheeses containing animal rennet. However, several plant-based rennet options are also vegan. 

You can check the labels on dairy products to find out if they’re made with plant-based or animal-based rennet. If unsure, you can always contact the manufacturer or a trusted vegetarian cheese retailer.

Rennet-Free Cheese Alternatives

Below, you’ll find a table of the best rennet-free cheese that’s vegetarian-friendly. They’re pasteurized in the cheese-making process, making them free of the germs from raw milk. Who said vegetarians couldn’t enjoy the best cheese recipes?

Rennet Free CheeseWhy You Should Pick It
Plant-Based MozzarellaIdentical to authentic Mozzarella, good for your health and cuts down on calories. 
Cottage Cheesewith Creamy flavor, smooth texture, and 5 g of protein per half-cup serving.
Cream CheeseKetogenic friendly, mild flavors, the best combination of sweet and tangy.
PaneerMade with fruit acid, it has a bubbly and milky texture and taste. 
RicottaFresh cheese with mild flavors and a high concentration of whey protein, good for health. 

Some types of mozzarella cheese contain rennet, although you can buy non-animal varieties with no rennet. However, in the U.S., you must check the manufacturer on their website or a vegetarian cheese list. 

Look for specific keywords in the ingredients list. Sometimes these keywords are not obvious, but they are essential to look for. For example, “enzymes” could mean anything from vegetable-based to animal rennet.

What is Rennet and How To Tell If Your Cheese Has It?

What is Rennet and How To Tell If Your Cheese Has It

The first thing you’ll want to look for when buying cheese is a label indicating if it has rennet. This substance is used to thicken the milk. Traditional rennet is from the stomach of a mammal, while some rennet alternatives are made from bacterial or fungal sources.

This substance has been used in cheesemaking for millennia. It is harvested from the stomach of a young unweaned calf, but today, it is also harvested from lamb and goats. Some traditional producers still use dried stomach strips.

You can buy rennet in two forms, dry and liquid. Both have their benefits and drawbacks. Both forms will yield tasty cheese, but there are nuances between the two types. You’ll also find that some rennets are made for certain cheeses.

While rennet is generally safe for humans, it can cause problems in animal health. The animal-based rennet, often used in cheesemaking, contains an enzyme called chymosin. It starts solidifying milk by coagulating milk and separating the curds from the whey. Various types of rennet substitutes are available, and there are vegetarian alternatives.

Can You Use Rennet In Homemade Cheese?

Can You Use Rennet In Homemade Cheese

The primary function of rennet is to coagulate milk. Adding calcium chloride to the milk helps rennet perform its function better. Moreover, it lowers the ph of milk, allowing higher extraction of solids. Calcium chloride is available in liquid or granulated form so you can use it at home.

You might be concerned about what’s in your cheese if you’re a vegetarian. Some cheeses are produced with rennet from calves, while others don’t. In addition, the makers may not disclose the source of the rennet on the packaging. This could mean vegetarians have been eating animal rennet for years without even knowing it.

Alternative Rennet Enzymes

While animal rennet is widely used in cheese production; there are alternative sources of enzymes. They include proteinases from Rhizomucor miehei, R. pusillus, Cryphonectria parasitica, Aspergillus oryzae, and Irpex lactis.

These substitutes are made from plants and are less expensive. They also have better quality. Many vegan kinds of cheese are also available that have been made using non-animal rennet.

Once you’ve learned about the different types of rennet, you can begin to tell if you’re eating cheese that has it. If your cheese is made with liquid rennet, you should keep it refrigerated. The shelf life of liquid rennet is about a year, while the shelf life of vegetable rennet is around four to five months.

Plant-Based Mozzarella: Is It Safe For Vegetarians?

Plant-Based Mozzarella Is It Safe For Vegetarians

Some vegans may have a problem with cheese made with animal-derived rennet. In this case, you can try making vegan mozzarella. However, many people find vegan mozzarella lacking the milky, creamy, and stringy flavors of animal-based mozzarella. 

As such, it may not be a good choice for those vegans or vegetarians. If you’re trying to avoid animal-derived cheese, you can try making your vegan mozzarella, but be aware that you may not like it as much as you’d like to.

Most mozzarella cheeses are made from animal products, including cows and buffalo. However, there are some vegan-friendly versions available at most grocery stores. Most of them contain animal-based rennet, a type of enzyme used in cheesemaking. These enzymes come from the stomach lining of a calf.

Check The Label

When buying mozzarella cheese, you should check the label. Walmart’s Great Value mozzarella cheese contains rennet, but its vegan counterpart, Sargento, may be free of animal-based rennet. Also, Trader Joe’s and Kroger’s mozzarella cheeses must be marked as vegan or plant-based.

Is Cheese Vegetarian? What To Know

Many people assume that cheese is a vegetarian food, but it’s important to understand that not all cheeses are vegan or vegetarian. Some cheeses contain animal rennet, which requires the slaughter of animals. Other types of cheese are made without rennet, such as cottage cheese, soy cheese, or cashew cheese.

When buying cheese at the grocery store, read the labels carefully to avoid dairy products that contain rennet. This enzyme is present in the stomachs of cows and goats. It helps coagulate milk into solid curds. 

What Makes Cheese Non-Veg?

What Makes Cheese Non-Veg

Cheeses are made using a variety of processes, but the process for making them all is the same. Typically, milk is heated to 72 degrees 1/2C for 15 seconds before cooling to 30 degrees C. 

This helps to sour the milk by converting lactose into lactic acid. The lactic acid bacteria also help in the coagulation process and improve the quality of the cheese. Some cheeses are made entirely from lactic acid bacteria called lactic-curd cheeses.

Azeitao is a soft sheep’s milk cheese produced by select farmhouse dairies in the Arrabida Mountains in southern Portugal. The rennet used for coagulating milk is derived from the stamens of cardoon flowers. 

This coagulation method is traditional in some Mediterranean regions, but consistency between batches can be difficult to achieve. Therefore, most commercial cheesemakers prefer to use animal rennet.

Final Word

Buying cheese isn’t difficult. Many manufacturers offer vegetarian cheeses that are delicious and nutritious. You can find dairy-free versions of several popular brands, such as Cabot. 

But remember that just because cheese is vegetarian doesn’t mean it’s vegan. When choosing cheese for your diet, you should always look for the best quality and sustainable farming practices.