The Block/Shredded Cheese Controversy

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  1. #1
    micocina's Avatar
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    I have a customer that only eats "organic" food and she is very cautious about everything. When I did her show, I shared with her guests that buying block cheese was better than the shredded. For one it's more economical and another reason (tip I got from here) is that there is a preservative added to shredded cheese that keeps it from clumping. Well, she did her own research on this and she just got back to me saying that there was nothing to back me up on this, therefore, it is considered safe and now she wants to return the Ultimate Grater because she won't be needing it.

    Do any of you have something to back up the added preservative/wax or whatever it was said that the shredded cheese has?

  2. #2

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    I'm leaving a message with my sister who is taking many classes on this type information at NC State, she eats only organic also and is a vegetarian so I'll post as soon as I hear back from her tonight!

  3. #3
    Kitchen Diva's Avatar
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    I found online that most shredded cheeses do have some additive to keep it from molding, getting moist and from clumping...nothing from an actual cheese website however. I'll keep looking...

  4. #4
    micocina's Avatar
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    Thanks, Ladies. I'm sure your feedback will help us all.

  5. #5
    cathyskitchen's Avatar
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    Here's a reference website, not sure if it will help or not: About Us: FAQs

    And, it's not "wax" added to shredded cheese, but cellulose. Personally, I wouldn't want to add anything to my cheese - it's fine the way it is without added ingredients to prevent clumping. But, if your customer still wants to buy the shredded stuff and wants to return her Mandoline or Cheese Grater b/c of that, then I say let her. It's better customer service - remember, "the customer is always right", even when we know we are.

  6. #6
    Kitchen Diva's Avatar
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    Method of treating a divided cheese product for anticaking Document Type and Number:United States Patent 5626893 Link to this page:Method of treating a divided cheese product for anticaking - Patent 5626893 Abstract:An anticaking agent which reduces the stickiness of the chunked, diced, or shredded cheese and improves the functionality of cheese is formulated of fine mesh vegetable flour, bentonite, cellulose, and antimycotic agents or bacterial cultures. This anticaking agent also will reduce the yeast and mold growth. This discovery is also extended to include various flavors, colors, enzymes and other supplements into the anticaking agent, to ultimately add to the cheese.

    Found that on a patent website- someone was applying for a patent on the above product...

  7. #7
    Kitchen Diva's Avatar
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    Cooking For Engineers

    read down to the third paragraph I believe...

  8. #8

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    Quote Quote by Kitchen Diva
    Cooking For Engineers

    read down to the third paragraph I believe...
    Maybe I missed something but this was a recipe for lasagna?

  9. #9
    Kitchen Diva's Avatar
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    Quote Quote by urbnk8
    Maybe I missed something but this was a recipe for lasagna?
    Yes, but it spoke about why she won't use shredded cheese because of the additives in it to prevent clumping... It is somewhere in the 3rd paragraph I believe.

  10. #10

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    1. Pre-shredded cheese costs more than a block of cheese.

    2. You can get almost 4 C. of shredded cheese if you shred an 8 oz. block yourself, but if you buy an 8oz. bag, you only get 2 C.

    3. Pre-shredded cheese doesn’t taste as good or melt as good as a block of cheese you grate yourself.

    4. As soon as you shred cheese, it begins to lose nutritional value.

    5. If you store a block of cheese in aluminum foil in the refrigerator, (no plastic) it will last for weeks - as opposed to a bag of pre-shredded that only lasts 3-5 days.

    6. PRE-SHREDDED CHEESE HAS AN INGREDIENT: CELLULOSE……… A NON-CAKING AGENT THAT IS IN A LOT OF FOOD – THAT IS MADE FROM WOOD PULP – BASICALLY COATED IN SAWDUST………
    Cellulose is found in plants as microfibrils. These form the structurally strong framework in the cell walls. Cellulose is mostly prepared from wood pulp. (http://www.lsbu.ac.uk/water/hycel.htmL).
    7. Our Deluxe Cheese Grater allows you to grate all kinds of cheeses directly over the bowl/pizza/casserole w/out grating your knuckles and finger nails!
    8. If you are grating soft cheese: cheddar, mozzarella, provolone, etc.; Cut the piece for the grater and leave it out at room temp for 15 min. or so, OR put it in the microwave for 8 sec. It won’t melt, but it will pull the oils to the surface of the cheese and make it easier to grate.


    These are the tips I received from my director. I really hope it helps you out. Jenny

  11. #11

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    Quote Quote by Kitchen Diva
    Yes, but it spoke about why she won't use shredded cheese because of the additives in it to prevent clumping... It is somewhere in the 3rd paragraph I believe.

    Oh, now I see it! I checked twice before and still somehow missed it! Thanks!

  12. #12
    micocina's Avatar
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    Quote Quote by gothim0802
    1. Pre-shredded cheese costs more than a block of cheese.

    2. You can get almost 4 C. of shredded cheese if you shred an 8 oz. block yourself, but if you buy an 8oz. bag, you only get 2 C.

    3. Pre-shredded cheese doesn’t taste as good or melt as good as a block of cheese you grate yourself.

    4. As soon as you shred cheese, it begins to lose nutritional value.

    5. If you store a block of cheese in aluminum foil in the refrigerator, (no plastic) it will last for weeks - as opposed to a bag of pre-shredded that only lasts 3-5 days.

    6. PRE-SHREDDED CHEESE HAS AN INGREDIENT: CELLULOSE……… A NON-CAKING AGENT THAT IS IN A LOT OF FOOD – THAT IS MADE FROM WOOD PULP – BASICALLY COATED IN SAWDUST………
    Cellulose is found in plants as microfibrils. These form the structurally strong framework in the cell walls. Cellulose is mostly prepared from wood pulp. (http://www.lsbu.ac.uk/water/hycel.htmL).
    7. Our Deluxe Cheese Grater allows you to grate all kinds of cheeses directly over the bowl/pizza/casserole w/out grating your knuckles and finger nails!
    8. If you are grating soft cheese: cheddar, mozzarella, provolone, etc.; Cut the piece for the grater and leave it out at room temp for 15 min. or so, OR put it in the microwave for 8 sec. It won’t melt, but it will pull the oils to the surface of the cheese and make it easier to grate.


    These are the tips I received from my director. I really hope it helps you out. Jenny
    The link you provided says Document Not Found

  13. #13
    chefann's Avatar
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    Quote Quote by gothim0802
    1. Pre-shredded cheese costs more than a block of cheese.

    2. You can get almost 4 C. of shredded cheese if you shred an 8 oz. block yourself, but if you buy an 8oz. bag, you only get 2 C.
    If you shred your own cheese and get a different yield than 4 oz. = 1 cup, you should base your cheese usage on the weight.

    3. Pre-shredded cheese doesn’t taste as good or melt as good as a block of cheese you grate yourself.
    This statement is opinion, rather than fact. I've found that cheese I've shredded actually melts poorly because it starts to separate rather than melt smoothly.

    4. As soon as you shred cheese, it begins to lose nutritional value.
    Really? How would it "know"? It's not a plant that loses nutrients when you break the cell walls. I don't see how cutting cheese into little pieces (which is all shredding really is) would affect the nutrients any more than leaving it in a block, although it will dry out more readily in small pieces because there's more surface area.

    5. If you store a block of cheese in aluminum foil in the refrigerator, (no plastic) it will last for weeks - as opposed to a bag of pre-shredded that only lasts 3-5 days.
    I've got a bag of pre-shredded cheese in my fridge that's been there for 3 weeks and is still good. And I've bought block cheese that was still weeks from the use by date and went ballistic with mold.

    6. PRE-SHREDDED CHEESE HAS AN INGREDIENT: CELLULOSE……… A NON-CAKING AGENT THAT IS IN A LOT OF FOOD – THAT IS MADE FROM WOOD PULP – BASICALLY COATED IN SAWDUST………
    Cellulose is found in plants as microfibrils. These form the structurally strong framework in the cell walls. Cellulose is mostly prepared from wood pulp. (http://www.lsbu.ac.uk/water/hycel.htmL).
    Cellulose is PLANT fiber. It's the same fiber that's found in vegetables of all kinds. Telling your customers that they're eating sawdust is a little misleading.

    7. Our Deluxe Cheese Grater allows you to grate all kinds of cheeses directly over the bowl/pizza/casserole w/out grating your knuckles and finger nails!
    8. If you are grating soft cheese: cheddar, mozzarella, provolone, etc.; Cut the piece for the grater and leave it out at room temp for 15 min. or so, OR put it in the microwave for 8 sec. It won’t melt, but it will pull the oils to the surface of the cheese and make it easier to grate.


    These are the tips I received from my director. I really hope it helps you out. Jenny
    I've addressed some specific points above.

    This topic is one of those things that people believe what they believe, and they aren't going to be swayed one way or another. So you might as well keep your customer happy and take back her grater. (Or give her the number to the solution center and let her handle it.)

  14. #14

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    I am extremely careful about the foods I buy and feed my family. I have studied and researched the whole grated vs. block cheese deal, and can find no real issue, other than convenience vs. price. Sometimes (and only sometimes) the block cheese is cheaper.

    Around here, I can even buy pre-grated organic cheese...and I don't even own a DCG anymore. At least, not a whole one...

    And I always tell my hosts to go ahead and buy grated cheese, because there's no point in people watching me grate cheese - everyone know how to do it.

  15. #15

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    This doesn't really go with the powder placed on the cheese... but since we are talking about cheeses I really wanted to post this:
    Rennet - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    has anyone heard of Rennet, it is an additive that is in SOME cheeses, but its comes in 4 varieties 2 of which are of from vegetable bases but the other is veal stomach.
    Just thought I'd share... I know it doesn't sound yummy to me.

  16. #16
    chefann's Avatar
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    Natural rennet (from stomachs) is how cheese has been made for thousands of years. In fact, the theory about the very first cheese is that someone put milk into a waterbag made from a fairly fresh animal stomach for a trip across the desert. The heat and motion, combined with the rennet from the stomach, caused a rudimentary cheese (like cottage cheese or ricotta) to form.

  17. #17
    janetupnorth's Avatar
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    About 3 years ago or so, this was a thing mentioned to consultants because I remember my recruiter being really big on it at shows. She got it from whatever weekly bites was at the time or product tips.

  18. #18
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    Ann you Rock!! You have all the answers and I appreciate that you don't give them with the 'know it all' attitude! THANK YOU! :-D

  19. #19
    janetupnorth's Avatar
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    Forgot about this: Sargento.com | FAQs

    Here are some things from Sargento that I had posted last time this topic came up.

  20. #20
    erinyourpclady's Avatar
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    Mmmmmmm cheese. I think I will go and do a taste test real quick...pre-shredded vs block.

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