Vegetarians should note that most cheese is not vegetarian, as it contains animal rennet, which, as Webster points out, is part of a cow. Rennet is used to speed up the coagulation of milk. There are some companies, such as Cabot, that produce cheese using either no rennet or an artificial rennet. The artificial rennet, sometimes known as "vegetable rennet" is actually produced by bacteria modified with recombinant DNA.

You can tell whether or not a cheese contains animal rennet: if the list of ingredients contains the word "enzymes," it uses animal rennet, unless it specifically states otherwise. For example, many cheeses produced by Cabot specifically state, "Contains no animal rennet."

Ren"net (r?n"n?t), n. [F. rainette, reinette, perhaps fr. raine a tree frog, L. rana, because it is spotted like this kind of frog. Cf. Ranunculus.] Bot.

A name of many different kinds of apples. Cf. Reinette.



© Webster 1913.

Ren"net, n. [AS. rinnan, rennan, to run, cf. gerinnan to curdle, coagulate. 11. See Run, v.]

The inner, or mucous, membrance of the fourth stomach of the calf, or other young ruminant; also, an infusion or preparation of it, used for coagulating milk.

[Written also runnet.]

Cheese rennet. Bot. See under Cheese. -- Rennet ferment Physiol. Chem., a ferment, present in rennet and in variable quantity in the gastric juice of most animals, which has the power of curdling milk. The ferment presumably acts by changing the casein of milk from a soluble to an insoluble form. -- Rennet stomach Anat., the fourth stomach, or abomasum, of ruminants.


© Webster 1913.

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