A Cheesy Story about Fake Fat

What goes into Russian cheeses?  One out of three tested cheese brands in Kaliningrad shops contained fat that did not come from milk. That was the result when the journalist Irina Krivonos bought three different cheeses and sent them to two different labs for analysis, one lab in Saint Petersburg and one in Lithuania.

Since the Russian import restrictions, implemented in August 2014, banned the sale of cheese produced abroad, there have been a lot of discussions in Russian media about what to eat. But in Kaliningrad there have been no empty shelves. Irina Krivonos chose two cheese brands made in Kaliningrad, and one imported from the mainland Russia. The two local brands were, according to the lab analysis, made out of milk. But the fat in the “imported” Russian cheese Laskava was not only milk-fat. The test in the Saint Petersburg lab put the level of milk-fat to “not less than 73 percent”, which means 27 percent could be made from other sources than milk. The result was confirmed and clarified by the Lithuanian laboratory, describing the share of non-milk fat as about 8 percent.

A widespread suspicion in Russia is that dairies are cheating customers by adding cheap imported palm oil in the cheeses. Wether the found non-milk fat consist of palm oil or any other vegetable fat, was impossible to find out in the lab analysis.

The story was published in Dvornik on December 22, 2015.

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Stock photo: Freedigitalphotos.net



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