Mozzarella watered down by Italy's quality control chief

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The Independent Online

The Italian government has vowed to get tough on cheese fraud following revelations that even the body charged with protecting the quality of the country's famous buffalo mozzarella has been guilty of watering it down.

Real Napolitan pizza and other classic Italian dishes rely on rich, stringy buffalo mozzarella as a key ingredient. But Luca Zaia, the agriculture minister, revealed yesterday that tests in leading supermarkets had found that a quarter of the cheese sold as buffalo mozzarella was fraudulent, because it contained almost one-third cow's milk. And even the president of the Mozzarella Consortium, Luigi Chianese, has been up to no good, said the minister, announcing Mr Chianese's suspension and the closure of the whole organisation.

"I have placed the consortium under appointed administration after inspections found that even its president was watering down his buffalo milk with cow milk," Mr Zaia announced.

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