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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

CFR - Code of Federal Regulations Title 21

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The information on this page is current as of Mar 22, 2024.

For the most up-to-date version of CFR Title 21, go to the Electronic Code of Federal Regulations (eCFR).

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[Code of Federal Regulations]
[Title 21, Volume 2]
[CITE: 21CFR133.165]



Subpart B - Requirements for Specific Standardized Cheese and Related Products

Sec. 133.165 Parmesan and reggiano cheese.

(a) Parmesan cheese, reggiano cheese, is the food prepared from milk and other ingredients specified in this section, by the procedure set forth in paragraph (b) of this section, or by another procedure which produces a finished cheese having the same physical and chemical properties as the cheese produced when the procedure set forth in paragraph (b) of this section is used. It is characterized by a granular texture and a hard and brittle rind. It grates readily. It contains not more than 32 percent of moisture, and its solids contain not less than 32 percent of milkfat, as determined by the methods prescribed in § 133.5 (a), (b), and (d). It is cured for not less than 10 months.

(b) Milk, which may be pasteurized or clarified or both, and which may be warmed, is subjected to the action of harmless lactic-acid-producing bacteria, present in such milk or added thereto. Sufficient rennet, or other safe and suitable milk-clotting enzyme that produces equivalent curd formation, or both, with or without purified calcium chloride in a quantity not more than 0.02 percent (calculated as anhydrous calcium chloride) of the weight of the milk, is added to set the milk to a semisolid mass. Harmless artificial coloring may be added. The mass is cut into pieces no larger than wheat kernels, heated, and stirred until the temperature reaches between 115 deg.F and 125 deg.F. The curd is allowed to settle and is then removed from the kettle or vat, drained for a short time, placed in hoops, and pressed. The pressed curd is removed and salted in brine, or dry-salted. The cheese is cured in a cool, ventilated room. The rind of the cheese may be coated or colored. A harmless preparation of enzymes of animal or plant origin capable of aiding in the curing or development of flavor of parmesan cheese may be added during the procedure, in such quantity that the weight of the solids of such preparation is not more than 0.1 percent of the weight of the milk used.

(c)(1) For the purposes of this section, the word "milk" means cow's milk, which may be adjusted by separating part of the fat therefrom or by adding thereto one or more of the following: Cream, skim milk, concentrated skim milk, nonfat dry milk, water in a quantity sufficient to reconstitute any concentrated skim milk or nonfat dry milk used.

(2) Such milk may be bleached by the use of benzoyl peroxide or a mixture of benzoyl peroxide with potassium alum, calcium sulfate, and magnesium carbonate; but the weight of the benzoyl peroxide is not more than 0.002 percent of the weight of the milk bleached, and the weight of the potassium alum, calcium sulfate, and magnesium carbonate, singly or combined, is not more than six times the weight of the benzoyl peroxide used. If milk is bleached in this manner, sufficient vitamin A is added to the curd to compensate for the vitamin A or its precursors destroyed in the bleaching process, and artificial coloring is not used.

(d) Safe and suitable antimycotic agent(s), the cumulative levels of which shall not exceed current good manufacturing practice may be added to the surface of the cheese.

(e) Label declaration. Each of the ingredients used in the food shall be declared on the label as required by the applicable sections of parts 101 and 130 of this chapter, except that enzymes of animal, plant, or microbial origin may be declared as "enzymes".

[42 FR 14366, Mar. 15, 1977, as amended at 48 FR 49014, Oct. 24, 1983; 49 FR 10095, Mar. 19, 1984; 58 FR 2894, Jan. 6, 1993]