Characteristics (Denomination of Protected Origin 12 June 1996) - Grana Padano is a cylindrical cheese with a diameter of 35-40 cm, an edge of 18-25 cm and a weight of 24-40 kg. Ripening lasts at least 270 days. The crust is hard, regular with a dark beige colour. The dough is white or pale-yellow with very small and sparse holes. The texture is solid, granular and the odour aromatic with almond characteristics. The taste is very savoury and mainly salty.

Production area - With a production of about 144,000 tonnes Grana Padano is the most important Italian cheese. Grana Padano is produced throughout Northern Italy.

Cheesemaking - Grana Padano is produced with partly skimmed, raw cows’ milk. The milk produced in the evening is skimmed to remove the surface layer of cream and is mixed with the fresh milk produced in the morning.

The partly skimmed milk obtained is then transferred into copper kettles and whey acidified with a mixture of Lactobacillus helveticus, Lactobacillus lactis, Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Lactobacillus fermentum is added. The whey or milk serum starter has an acidity of 28-33 °SH/50 and an innoculum level of 2-3% is used. A lysozyme  solution is also added and the milk is coagulated by the addition of bovine liquid rennet at a temperature of 30-33° C. Lysozyme is used to prevent the growth of Clostridium tyrobutyricum which  can cause gas production.The curd is cut to produce granules with the size of rice grains then cooked to 53-56 °C. The curd obtained is subdivided in two and put in moulds. After 36-72 hours, the cheese is salted in brine for, approximately, a day per kilo of cheese. After salting, the cheese is transferred to the ripening cellar. 

Composition - The composition of Grana Padano cheese is given in table 15.

Table 15.  The composition of Grana Padano cheese







Fat (% dry matter)




How to cite this article

Zeppa, Giuseppe (2004). [On-line]. Available from: . Accessed: 15 April, 2024.