Aussies stunned by ingredient difference in grated and block cheese: 'Tastes better'

If shredded cheese is usually on your grocery list, you need to read this.

A TikToker has shocked many Aussies online by revealing that two products which look almost identical on the supermarket shelf are actually significantly different.

Comparing the same brand of Mozzarella cheese in a block and shredded, Danni Duncan — who runs a health and wellness account called @thefigure_ — pointed out that surprisingly, their ingredients were not the same, with additional ingredients added to the grated variety of the cheese.

Mozzarella shredded cheese and block cheese
The TikTok pointed out that while many people think the two tyoes of cheese are the same, they are in fact very different. Photo: TikTok/@thefigure_

Dozens of her followers were flabbergasted to learn that there were preservatives added to the packet cheese.

In the video, Danni picked up the two packages from the supermarket shelf and showed her followers the differing ingredients on the two packs. The block's ingredients included pasteurised milk, milk cultures and non-animal rennet. However, when she read the ingredients on the ready-grated mozzarella cheese, it contained a couple of extra ingredients.

“I know some people say ‘Oh I’m just going to get the grated one because it’s easier and it’s exactly the same.’ Incorrect!” She said.


The packet cheese included all of the same ingredients with the addition of an anti-caking agent (460) and preservative 200, which is Sorbic Acid.

“You see this? It’s not the same. Because when you grate your own cheese it sticks together and they need to make something that doesn’t stick together and it lasts longer because once it’s not in its natural form anymore… it starts to go off,” she explains in the video which has since been viewed more than 300,000 times.

Mozzarella shredded cheese ingredients (left) and block cheese ingredients (right).
Dozens of people had no idea that the ingredients were so different. Source: Tiktok/@thefigure_

The video quickly racked up over 300 comments with dozens saying they had no idea about the added ingredients.

“Mind blown! Thank you for this,” one person wrote, while another added: “Thank you. Won't be buying that again.”

“Oh wow - that’s scary,” another person said, with several others saying they would now be making the switch to grating their own cheese.

“Wow, I never knew that. Thank you for making us all aware. I will be grating my own cheese from now on,” another person said.

An expert weighs in

Food safety expert Edward McCartney said there’s good reason that the two preservatives are added and that this is done under strict regulations enforced by Food Standards Australia New Zealand.

“The preservative is added to discourage mould growth which without it, would spoil the cheese within a relatively short time,” McCartney said.

“The anti-caking agent is added to prevent the shredded cheese from sticking together. Both of these additives are added to ensure the product meets the consumer’s expectations in terms of quality and safety.”

While the additives do impact the shelf life of pre-grated cheese, they should not impact the flavour or the cheese itself and are usually added at the discretion of the manufacturer, McCartney added.

Cheese being grated on a food grater.
Many people commented on the TikTok video saying that they had indeed switched from buyng shredded cheese to grating their own. Photo: Getty Images

Other advantages of buying block cheese

Apart from containing fewer preservatives, buying block cheese has other advantages. Other shoppers who commented on the TikTok clip said block cheese was often cheaper to buy and tasted better too.

“I always get a block and grate my own because it melts better and tastes better,” one person wrote.

“I grate my own because I’m not paying $11 for 700g when I can get a 1kg block for $9 to $10,” added another.

“I have been grating for the past few months mainly for budgeting and the taste is fresher/better. Now I know why,” said a third.

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