What Rennet Is

What Rennet Is

Rennet is an enzyme used to coagulate cheese, helping it make the transformation from liquid milk form to a solid. Traditionally rennet is extracted from the stomach lining of butchered veal calves. The calves have the rennet in their stomachs to help digest milk from their mothers. Older cows no longer have use for it and stop producing it.

Animal rennet is one of the most common ingredients in mass produced cheese, which can make it quite a hurdle for those looking to only eat cheese with vegan rennet. The following nationally distributed cheeses, plus many others, contain rennet from cows or other animals with four stomachs:

* Land O’Lakes asiago, provolone, parmesan, Romano and American
* All Pollio cheeses except mozzarella and ricotta
* Tillamook Vintage White Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese
* All Kraft cheeses except U.S. produced Swiss and Neufchatel
* Sorrento provolone and Parmesan

Cheeses that use animal rennet will usually have rennet or rennin listed on the ingredients label. Rennin is the less common name for the exact same product.

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