Is Mozzarella Cheese Vegetarian? (Solved!)

Cheese is full of melted goodness, and we all want some. However, there has been some debate on whether vegetarians can consume cheese.

Unlike vegans, vegetarians can eat animal products that aren’t a by-product of slaughter. That means they can have eggs, dairy, honey, etc.

So, is mozzarella cheese vegetarian? It would explain that cheese should make it onto the vegetarian diet plan.

Unfortunately, this isn’t typically the case as it contains a troublesome product known as animal rennet. As you’ll see in this article, there are some exceptions.

Let’s get the low-down on mozzarella and the vegetarian diet.

is mozzarella cheese vegetarian

Can Vegetarians Eat Mozzarella Cheese?

According to the Vegetarian Society, a vegetarian is somebody who doesn’t eat fish, meat, or chicken.

They also don’t consume animal rennet, an ingredient that goes into making mozzarella cheese.

Rennet is a coagulation product that comes from the calf’s stomach lining. It’s obtained by extracting it from the fourth stomach of slaughtered calves.

Although calves aren’t primarily butchered for their rennet, this doesn’t change the fact that it’s the method used to get the product from the calf.

This is the reason why vegetarians stay away from cheese.

Although vegetarians can drink the milk from which cheese is made, they draw the line at consuming anything containing rennet.

Because animal rennet is used to curdle the milk in the cheese-making process, authentic mozzarella cheese is considered non-vegetarian.

However, some manufacturers are producing the cheese using non-animal derived rennet.

Can Mozzarella Cheese Be Made Without Rennet?

With a growing demand for vegetarian-friendly cheese, some manufacturers have found ways to produce cheese that doesn’t include animal rennet.

Rennet’s sole purpose in cheese-making is to curd the milk.

It’s possible to use products that aren’t derived from animals to accomplish this part of the process.

Vegetable rennet is obtained from plants or vegetables by extracting an enzyme similar to that found in animals.

Plants used in this process include figs, thistles, and caper leaves.

Microbial rennet, on the other hand, is produced in the lab. Bacteria and fungi are used in this process.

However, microbial rennet doesn’t taste great and often ruins the flavor of the cheese produced.

It’s no surprise, therefore, that it isn’t the number one alternative to the animal enzyme.

There’s also genetically engineered rennet on the market. DNA from the calf’s stomach lining is combined with bacteria and yeast DNA to form chymosin.

This process doesn’t harm the calf, so the cheese produced can be consumed by vegetarians.

Genetically engineered rennet is also the option most similar to the animal enzyme. As a result, it’s the most popular alternative for manufacturers.

The packaging for vegetarian-friendly cheese will include things like “vegetarian enzyme” or “microbial rennet” in the list of ingredients.

Thanks to the advent of non-animal rennet, vegetarians can now enjoy previously excluded cheese products in their recipes.

What Brand of Mozzarella Cheese Is Vegetarian?

Miyoko’s Creamery

Miyoko’s is a vegan cheese company producing artisanal cheeses for more than a decade, with the vegan mozzarella being one of the most popular ones.

They’ve been making various types of cheese in addition to mozzarella, such as cheddar and cream cheese.

The company uses traditional methods to make its plant-based cheese.

Daiya Foods

Daiya Foods sells various vegan products, including mozzarella cheese.

The company has positioned itself as a leader in plant-based foods and is globally available in over 25,000 grocery stores.

Its vegan Mozzarella is one of the most popular ones out there.

Field Roast

Field Roast also makes dairy-free cheese aside from its well-known vegan meat products, such as burgers, sandwiches, and deli slices.

Both the vegan and vegetarian mozzarella cheeses it produces are very popular.

Violife

Violife specializes in vegan cheese alternatives. They mostly use coconut oil to make products like mozzarella and parmesan.

However, fans of the company say that their cheese tastes a lot like a dairy-based ingredient, as impossible as it sounds.

If you are looking for vegan mozzarella that tastes like the real thing, then this is about as close as you are going to get.

Follow Your Heart

This plant-based company was started in California’s San Fernando Valley.

It has since expanded to include many vegan products, such as spreads, dressings, and yogurts.

In addition, the company makes vegan cheese for those looking for dietary products that suit their lifestyle.

In California, this is one of the leading brands of plant-based products, especially where their super popular vegan mozzarella is concerned.

Treeline

Treeline landed on the brilliant idea of making cheese from cashew nuts.

Their cashew nut vegan mozzarella is known for having fantastic flavor.

They then flavor their products using ingredients like pepper and garlic.

So Delicious

So Delicious has gone all out in ensuring that vegans and vegetarians can get dairy-free products.  They have items like coffee creamers, ice cream, and even cheese.

They carry several types of cheese, including mozzarella, which can be bought in slices or as a block.

Their cheeses are some of the most popular ones out there.

FAQ

Is Buffalo Mozzarella Vegetarian?

Authentic buffalo mozzarella cheese is considered vegetarian because it doesn’t contain animal rennet.

Buffalo mozzarella cheese is made from the milk of water buffalos, hence its name.

The cheesemakers use a traditional recipe to make it, and its production is restricted to specific geographical locations. Instead of using rennet to curd the cheese, producers use natural whey.

This makes it a cheese that’s acceptable to vegetarians.

Is Kraft Mozzarella Cheese Vegetarian?

Kraft mozzarella cheese is not vegetarian because it’s made using animal rennet.

Some types of Kraft cheese, including cream cheese and parmesan, don’t contain this enzyme and are considered vegetarian. However, their mozzarella doesn’t make it to this list.  

Is Amul Mozzarella Cheese Vegetarian?

Yes, Amul mozzarella cheese is considered vegetarian as it doesn’t contain animal-derived rennet.

Amul cheese is produced in India, and the company is said to be one of the largest vegetarian cheese brands in the country.

In Summary

Whether or not mozzarella cheese is vegetarian depends on how it’s made.

Most mozzarella cheese uses an enzyme known as rennet in the curding process. This product is obtained from calves, and sourcing it results in their death. The cheese is therefore not considered vegetarian.

However, technology has made it possible to have non-animal rennet. Therefore, mozzarella made from this synthetic enzyme is suitable for vegetarians.