I hadn't mentioned it earlier, but right after I sent my initial email to PJ on the 100% mozzarella cheese matter, I also sent an inquiry on the same matter to the FDA. I had long been aware of the fact that there is a standard of identity for mozzarella cheese and how that might affect what a particular mozzarella cheese product is called. As an example, I alluded to the standard of identity matter a while back in another thread and how legalities can enter the equation at Reply 1 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=32080.msg317782#msg317782
. So, in sending my inquiry to the FDA, my hope was is that I would either get a clarifyng response from the FDA or at least learn something new.
The response I got from the FDA cited the section of the code that applies to mozzarella cheese, to wit:Response: In order for mozzarella cheese to be called "mozzarella cheese" it has to meet the specifications in the Code of Federal Regulations CFR 133.
The ingredient information that you found on their website is just a list of it's ingredients. As long as the mozzarella cheese meets the definition for mozzarella cheese as seen in CFR 133.155, it can still be called mozzarella cheese.
I had long been aware of the cited FDA regulation, but since the response did not specifically address the 100% mozzarella cheese issue, I reframed my original question and resubmitted it. This morning, I received the following reply:Response: If the mozzarella cheese fits the definition of mozzarella cheese in CFR 133.155 (as mentioned in the first email) it would be considered 100% mozzarella cheese.
My interpretation of the statutory language for mozzarella cheese, including the definitions of milk at Part 133 at http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CFR-2012-title21-vol2/pdf/CFR-2012-title21-vol2-part133.pdf
, is that the mozzarella cheese blend that PJ uses does not qualify as 100% mozzarella cheese. The reason for this is that the statute does not permit one to add modified food starch, sugarcane fiber, whey protein concentrate, sodium citrate, and sodium propionate to a basic mozzarella cheese and call the blend 100% mozzarella cheese. This is not a new revelation. Yesterday, PJ told me that they could not call their cheese blend 100% mozzarella cheese because it is a non-standard of identity cheese (NSOI) cheese.
I will await with interest a further reply from PJ on the above matter. Since they already gave me the answer, they may not respond further and continue to hide behind their ambiguous and slippery cheese descriptions.