Shredded cheese contains an additive made from powdered wood pulp called cellulose. Cellulose is similar to sawdust in that they are both made from wood, but cellulose is created in a laboratory by chemically separating cellulose from wood or other plant material.
Cellulose prevents shredded cheese from clumping. It also is used as a thickener or stabilizer in many low-fat foods or as a fiber additive because it is inexpensive and tasteless. Even organic foods can contain the least-processed form of cellulose. Nutritionists say that cellulose is not harmful to human health, and that it passes through the body undigested, according to the Wall Street Journal.