Cracking down on counterfeit cheese

On Balance with Leland Vittert

(NewsNation) — If you go to the store to buy parmesan cheese or even receive it grated on your meal while at a restaurant, there’s a good chance it’s not real.

That’s according to Parmigiano Reggiano, also known as the ‘king of cheeses’ in Italy. They’re the originators of the delectable fermented dairy product whose slogan, “The only Parmesan,” is one of the first things you’ll see on their website.

The Italian company estimates that while they made $2.63 billion in 2019, the counterfeit Parmigiano Reggiano market is worth $2.14 billion.

The assessment has led the consortium into making trackable chips that can be grated into the rind of their parmesan wheels in hopes that custom officials worldwide can track if the counterfeit product is hitting grocery stores.

For now, it’s only an experiment. It’s projected to be installed in 100 barrels in 2022. If it’s successful, the technology will be extended into the entire Parmigiano Reggiano production and revenue can be restored.

To delve further into the topic, Friday’s edition of “On Balance with Leland Vittert” brought on cheesemonger and third generation cheese importer Adam Moskowitz, to discuss what truly separates the real product from the fake.

Watch the breakdown above.

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