What's Really In Dollar Tree's Imitation Parmesan Topping?

Dollar Tree is known for offering a majority of its items at reasonably low prices, and even with its items' base prices jumping up to $1.25 now instead of $1 (via MarketWatch), you can still find some nice products for a pretty great deal. Among the items you should buy from Dollar Tree, you will find party supplies, greeting cards, socks, vases, and hair accessories, to name a few. However, not all of their products are a good bargain or even good quality.

Business Insider lists some things you should not buy from Dollar Tree, including electronics, pet treats, canned food, knives, makeup, medicine, and batteries. The biggest reason to avoid these items is their low quality which could lead to health and safety issues — especially when it comes to food. One person shared on TikTok some food items that she recommends avoiding on your next trip to Dollar Tree.

Parmesan cheese is Dollar Tree's 11th ingredient

One user shared a TikTok of things she would avoid buying from Dollar Tree. Several items are highlighted, such as imitation vanilla extract, fruit spreads, and grated cheese topping. She also suggests alternatives or items that are a better deal than the ones she pointed out. She advises buying the actual parmesan cheese instead of the grated topping with parmesan, even though the former is a smaller container than the latter. Her biggest issue with the grated topping is its ingredients. According to its label, which varies slightly from what was shared on TikTok, the Risparmio grated topping contains "Dairy whey, food starch, casein, natural flavors, water, partly hydrogenated soybean oil, salt, sodium aluminum phosphate, sodium phosphate, lactic acid, parmesan cheese (made from cow's milk, culture, salt, enzymes), cellulose powder (to prevent caking)" (via Dollar Tree).

Per the Center for Research on Ingredient Safety at Michigan State University, ingredients must be shown on product labels in order of how much of that ingredient is actually in the product, so ingredients listed at the beginning are what the product is mostly made of, while ingredients listed toward the end are only in the product in small amounts. With Dollar Tree's Risparmio grated topping, parmesan cheese is the 11th and second to last ingredient, which means there is very little actual cheese in this product. This is one food to avoid if the lack of real cheese concerns you.