As a chef or vegetarian, it’s not always easy to see whether products are or aren’t vegetarian. Usually, you need to study the ingredients on the packaging and know your stuff to see whether it truly doesn’t contain meat or fish.
Rest assured, all our Lebo cream cheese products are vegetarian! We see it as our duty to take appropriate care of the product, people, animals and nature. Lebo represents craftsmanship, quality and responsible products.
We asked Kees Rosman, in his role as product developer, to explain what makes our cream cheese vegetarian and how we pay elaborate attention to both people and animals in our production process!
We don’t use animal-based rennet or gelatine in the production of our cream cheese. Rennet is necessary to produce cheese. It causes the proteins in the milk to thicken and start coagulating. This gives the cream cheese the right density. Rennet is an enzyme that originally is obtained from the stomach of newborn calves. Only young calves produce this enzyme. The animal rennet is retrieved from veal carcasses. That’s why we chose to use an alternative: microbial rennet. This rennet is created by microorganisms, such as edible moulds and bacteria.
We also do not use gelatine in our cream cheese products, which is often used as a thickening agent. Gelatine is an enzyme that’s retrieved from offal (bones, connective tissue and skin from cows, pigs and other animals).
This begins at the origin. We are the only ones in the Netherlands who make cream cheese from daily fresh Dutch meadow milk. This milk is processed as it comes in from the Dutch farmers. Dutch meadow milk comes from cows that can graze in meadows for at least six hours a day for 120 days a year. This in contrast to non-grazing milk, which comes from cows that never leave their stables (half a million cows in the Netherlands). The Dutch Meadow Milk (Weidemelk) quality mark makes our Lebo cream cheese products unique.
Moreover, we make an effort to create a product that is as natural as possible. We add as little as possible during our production process. Because we take fresh milk and cream as a starting point, rather than low-fat milk(powder) for example, we can use the milkfat that is naturally present in the cream. On top of that, we use a natural fermentation process with lactic acid bacteria. We do not have to add acidulants as a result. Although this requires more time for the production, it also contributes to a better flavour development.
This authentic production method delivers a creamy, top-quality flavour. It is our goal to develop responsible, pure products with the best possible care for people and animals.
Curious about our Lebo products? Find more information about our assortment here!