Sunday, January 4, 2009

Cheese contains rennet from PIGS. ?????

MYTH: Cheese contains rennet from PIGS.

Does animal rennet for cheese come from PIGS?
NO. Animal rennet must come from the same species of animal as the milk being used in for cheese. Calf-rennet is used to produce cows milk cheese, lamb-rennet produces sheep milk cheese, and kid-rennet to produces goats milk cheese. Each type of animal produces a unique type of rennet to curdle the milk produced by that species. Kid-rennet will not curdle cows milk or turn it into cheese. Rennet or digestion enzymes from other animals, like swine-pepsin, are not used in cheese production.

What is Rennet?
ANIMAL RENNET is a natural complex of enzymes produced in the stomachs of nursing calves (young cows or buffalo), lambs, and kids (young goats), as well as other mammalian (milk producing) animals such as moose, camel and deer. The enzyme chymosin (rennin) found in rennet makes mothers' milk digestible for the young, turning it into a cheese-like substance.

As mentioned above, animal rennet must come from the stomach of a nursing (milk-fed) calf, kid or lamb—depending on the milk used to make the cheese. For this reason, Muslims who insist on zabihah may choose to avoid cheeses made with animal rennet. Cheeses made using animal rennet are not kosher cheeses, due to the kashrut prohibition against mixing meat and dairy products in the same meal.

GM RENNET ("Chymostar™") is a type of rennet produced by genetically modified mold (mucor miehei) or bacteria (e. coli, asperigillus niger var awamori or k. lacti). Rennet-producing DNA from a calf is introduced into the microbe's DNA so that it produces rennet identical to that which a calf produces.

Because calf rennet is produced by the microbes, animals are not slaughtered in the production process. Genetically modified rennet is safe for Muslims who insist on zabihah. GM rennet is used extensively (75%-80%) in the commercial cheese production.

VEGETABLE RENNET is a microbial rennet extracted from mold (usually mucor miehei). It has no animal origin. This is the rennet used by those who do not want to use any animal products in their cheese other than the milk. This will pass as vegetarian. Vegetable rennet is found in Kosher cheeses.



  1. Salam...can I ask how did u come about knowing this information?-Rennet has to be derived from the same animal from which cheese is derived from. Is it from an expert food specialist?

  2. Your information is INCORRECT. Following is an excerpt from a letter from KRAFT food.

    "Thank you very much for asking if Kraft cheese products contain any animal derivatives. Our comments here apply only to products produced in the United States. Many cheese products produced in the United States do contain a coagulating enzyme derived from either beef or swine. The process of changing fluid milk into cheese consists of coagulating the milk by one of two commonly used methods, each resulting in cheese having distinct characteristics.

    The most common method of coagulating milk is by the use of an enzyme preparation, rennet, which traditionally was made from the stomachs of veal calves. Since the consumption of calves for veal has not kept pace with the demand for rennet in the preparation of cheese, a distinct shortage of this enzyme has developed. Consequently, a few years ago it became a common practice to mix the rennet extract from calves' stomachs with a pepsin enzyme derived primarily from the stomachs of swine. These enzymes convert the fluid milk into a semi-solid mass as one of the steps in the manufacture of cheese. This mixture of calf rennet and pepsin extract is quite commonly and widely used within the United States."

  3. Wow, I appreciate the previous message about KRAFT. Without reading this a reader may be off on his marry way taking it as a fact that cheese could only be coagulated with the enzymes of the same animal who is producing the milk. Go figure. If there is a cheaper way to do things they will do it. Astaghfurilah.


  4. The writer is not incorrect. When asked about RENNET, the writer commented that RENNET SPECIFICALLY is not derived from pigs. Kraft said rennet is mixed with pepsin - two totally different questions. Yes, pepsin is from swine, but rennet is not. We should read carefully before jumping to conclusions about people being right or wrong. However, it is good to know that Kraft and many other manufacturers are mixing the two. I just hope they are labelling the products for the consumers to see.

  5. I too wish manufacturers labelled their products better (as suitable or unsuitable for vegetarians), but they don't. Most of the packaged food has ingredients that can come from animal, plant, or microbial origin, and unless we call the company to find out, there is usually no way to preclude the use of ingredients obtained from animals.

  6. Actually, no. You can make cheese from any young mammals stomach, including pigs.

  7. Totally different comment, the general public wants all the details. I am allergic to MSG, and it seems to be hidden in print on labels. I think it should be ousted, not allowed to be used.