By Jeanne Yacoubou, MS
VRG Research Director
The VRG received an email from a reader who was told in a July 2013 email by a Domino’s customer care representative that “The Pacific Veggie pizza uses cheeses that do contain animal rennet.”
According to the Domino’s website, the Pacific Veggie Pizza contains roasted red peppers, fresh baby spinach, fresh onions, fresh mushrooms, tomatoes, black olives, cheeses made with 100% real mozzarella, feta and provolone, sprinkled with garlic herb seasoning, on a cheesy Parmesan-Asiago crust.
The VRG spoke with three quality assurance specialists at Domino’s in November 2013 to confirm the latest information on all of Domino’s pizza ingredients. One quality assurance program leader told us on the phone when we asked if Domino’s used animal rennet: “No animal rennet is ever used in Domino’s cheese; it’s too expensive as you well know.”
We learned from a quality assurance specialist in charge of managing cheeses who confirmed information from her suppliers for us that “…Domino’s shredded provolone, pizza cheese (mozzarella), and feta cheeses are made with rennet derived from a non-animal source. Parm/Asiago blend (the cheese applied to the Hand Tossed crust for Pacific Veggie) contains lipase enzyme from an animal source, but the rennet is derived from a non-animal source. Parmesan shake-on (grated parm) rennet is non-animal sourced and does not contain lipase.”
Vegetarian and vegan diners at Domino’s who would like to avoid the Parmesan-Asiago cheese blend have several options. Pizzas at Domino’s can be custom-ordered without cheese. According to a Domino’s quality assurance specialist:
“American Legends® theme pizzas (including Pacific Veggie) can be ordered with any crust. Gluten Free and Thin Crust do not contain dairy ingredients in the dough formula. The other crust choices (Hand Tossed, Brooklyn Style, and Pan) do contain dairy ingredients in the dough.All American Legends® theme pizzas, including the Pacific Veggie build, include cheese applied to the crust rim when made with Hand Tossed dough. If there is concern, the consumer ordering can specify ‘no cheese on crust rim.’”
According to another senior-level quality assurance program leader at Domino’s who spoke with us on the phone, “non-animal” L-cysteine is a dough conditioner used in the following crusts: Brooklyn, Handmade Pan and Hand Tossed crusts.
On its website, Domino’s lists its ingredients: https://order.dominos.com/en/pages/content/nutritional/ingredients.jsp. The Gluten Free crust is the only pizza crust that contains honey. According to the online ingredient statement, Domino’s pizza sauce contains “tomato puree (water, tomato paste), sugar, salt, spices,
garlic, soybean oil, and citric acid.” The Hearty Marinara Sauce contains chicken juices and chicken fat.
The contents of this article, our website, and our other publications, including the Vegetarian Journal, are not intended to provide personal medical advice. Medical advice should be obtained from a qualified health professional. We often depend on product and ingredient information from company employees or company statements. Information does change and mistakes are always possible. Please use your own best judgment about whether a product is suitable for you. Further research or confirmation may be warranted.
For more information on fast food and quick-casual restaurant chains, visit our website: http://www.vrg.org/fastfoodinfo.php