Cottage cheeses with the fewest additives

Cottage cheese can be a low-lactose, high protein snack. However, many cottage cheese brands contain questionable ingredients.For example, carrageenan, guar gum, locust bean gum, or xanthan gum are often added for thickening or consistency.

I try to avoid these thickeners because they may have questionable health effects. If you want to do the same, my recommended products are below. All the brands are carrageenan-free, guar gum-free, locust bean gum-free, and xanthan gum-free.

Cottage cheeses with live/active cultures may have increased lactic acid levels. If you'd like to avoid that, note the products that say "manufacturer claims live and active cultures" under the ingredients.

Recommended as low-additive cottage cheeses:

Name Ingredients
Daisy Low-Fat Cottage Cheese

Cultured Skim Milk, Cream, Salt, Vitamin A Palmitate.

Daisy Regular Cottage Cheese

Cultured Skim Milk, Cream, Salt.

Good Culture Organic Cottage Cheese

Organic Skim Milk, Organic Whole Milk, Organic Cream, Celtic Sea Salt, Live and Active Cultures.

Manufacturer claims live and active cultures.

Ingredients may vary slightly based on the type of cottage cheese, but all of them are free of gums/carrageenan.

Kalona SuperNatural Organic Cottage Cheese

Certified Organic Grade A Milk, Organic Grade A Cream, Celtic Sea Salt®, Organic Skim Milk, Cultures.

Nancy's All Natural Cottage Cheese

Skim Milk, Cream, Nonfat Milk Powder, L. acidophilus, B. bifidum, and 4 strains of lactic cultures, salt.

Manufacturer claims live and active cultures.

Ingredients may vary slightly based on the type of cottage cheese, but all of them are free of gums/carrageenan.

Regional cottage cheese brand recommendations:

Name Ingredients
Western Creamery (Ontario-only) Cottage Cheese

Dry Curd, No Salt Cottage Cheese Ingredients: Skim Milk, Bacterial Cultures.

Dry Curd With Salt Cottage Cheese Ingredients: Skim Milk, Bacterial Cultures, Salt.

Pressed Cottage Cheese Ingredients: Skim Milk, Cream, Salt, Bacterial Cultures, Microbial Enzymes.

Pressed Low-fat Cottage Cheese Ingredients: Skim Milk, Bacterial Cultures, Salt.


Other cottage cheese brand comparison

These are the remaining cottage cheese brands I looked at to choose the recommendations above.

Name Ingredients
Breakstone's Cottage Cheese

Cultured Pasteurized Grade A Skim Milk, Milk and Cream, Whey, Contains Less Than 2% of Modified Food Starch, Salt, Maltodextrin, Calcium Phosphate, Guar Gum, Xanthan Gum, Natural Flavor, Vitamin D3.

Breakstone's Live Active Cottage Cheese

Cultured Pasteurized Grade A Skim Milk, Milk And Cream, Inulin, Contains Less Than 2% Of Modified Food Starch, Salt, Calcium Phosphate, Guar Gum, Natural Flavor, Vitamin A Palmitate, Vitamin D3.

Manufacturer claims live and active cultures.

Friendship Cottage Cheese (including 1%, 2%, Pot Style, California Style / Fit to Go)

All of the types usually contain an ingredients list resembling the following (their web site is no longer an accurate representation of the actual ingredients):

Cultured Skim Milk, Milk (sometimes skim or nonfat, depending on the variety), Cream (depending on the variety), Salt, Carrageenan Mono And Diglycerides, Locust Bean Gum, Carbon Dioxide.

Some varieties may also contain:

Whey, Maltodextrin, Artificial Color, Guar Gum, Citric Acid, Locust Bean Gum, Natural And Artificial Flavors, Vitamin A Palmitate, Potassium Sorbate, Enzyme.

Horizon Organic Lowfat Cottage Cheese

Cultured Organic Pasteurized Nonfat Milk, Organic Milk, Organic Nonfat Milk, Organic Cream, Salt, Tri-calcium Phosphate, Organic Locust Bean Gum, Citric Acid, Carrageenan, Microbial Enzyme (non-animal, Rennetless), Vitamin A Palmitate, Carbon Dioxide (to Help Protect Flavor).

Manufacturer claims live and active cultures.

Horizon Organic Regular Cottage Cheese

Cultured Organic Pasteurized Nonfat Milk, Organic Nonfat Milk, Organic Cream, Salt, Tri-calcium Phosphate, Organic Locust Bean Gum, Citric Acid, Carrageenan, Microbial Enzyme (non-animal, Rennetless), Carbon Dioxide (to Help Protect Flavor).

Manufacturer claims live and active cultures.

Lactaid Cottage Cheese

Cultured Pasteurized Skim Milk, Milk, Maltodextrin, Corn Starch, Salt, Natural Flavor, Lactase Enzyme, Xanthan Gum, Locust Bean Gum, Guar Gum, Vitamin A Palmitate, Sorbic Acid and Carbon Dioxide (to maintain freshness).

Market Pantry (Target Store-brand) Cottage Cheese

Grade A Pasteurized Cultured Skim Milk, Cream, Lactose, Salt, Cultured Whey, Guar Gum, Mono and Diglycerides, Xanthan Gum, Carob Bean Gum, Potassium Sorbate (Preservative), Natural Flavor, Vitamin A.

Penn Maid Cottage Cheese

Cultured Pasteurized Skim Milk, Whey Protein Concentrate, Cream, Whey, Salt, Modified Corn Starch, Potassium Sorbate and Carbon Dioxide (to preserve freshness), Guar Gum, Carrageenen, Locust Bean Gum, and Enzyme.

Ingredients may vary slightly based on the type of cottage cheese.

Trader Joe's Full-Fat Cottage Cheese

Cultured Pasteurized Nonfat Milk, Milk, Cream, Salt, Stabilizers (Guar Gum, Xanthan Gum, Carrageenan, Locust Bean Gum), Natural Flavor, Carbon Dioxide.

Trader Joe's Organic Low-Fat Cottage Cheese

Cultured Pasteurized Organic Non-Fat and Organic Low-Fat Milk, Salt, Tricalcium phosphate, Organic Locust Bean Gum, Carbon Dioxide, Carrageenan, Citric Acid, Vitamin A Palmitate, Microbial Rennet, Live & Active Acidopholis & Bifidius Cultures.

Manufacturer claims live and active cultures.


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