Separation in cheese making

Cheese production is a complex process that involves several stages, including milk coagulation, curd cutting, whey separation, and cheese shaping. Among these steps, whey separation is a crucial stage that plays a significant role in determining the quality and characteristics of the final product.

Whey separation involves separating the liquid whey from the solid curd. This process is typically done using a mechanical separator, which spins the curd and separates the whey from it. The whey is then collected and further processed or discarded, depending on its intended use.

The separation of whey is important for several reasons. First, it helps to remove excess moisture from the curd, which is essential for proper cheese formation and texture. Second, it allows for the recovery of valuable components from the whey, such as proteins and minerals, which can be used in other food products. Finally, it helps to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria in the cheese, which can lead to spoilage and reduced shelf life.

There are several different methods of whey separation in cheese production, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. Some methods rely on gravity to separate the whey, while others use centrifugal force or filtration. The choice of method depends on various factors, such as the type of cheese being produced, the desired texture and flavor, and the equipment available.

cheese preparation at the factory

What separators are used in cheese production

In the production of cheese, separators play a critical role in the separation of liquid whey from the solid curd. There are several types of separators used in cheese production, each with its own advantages and disadvantages.

One of the most common separators used in cheese production is the centrifugal separator. This type of separator works by spinning the curd at high speeds, causing the heavier curd particles to be pushed towards the outer edge of the spinning drum. The lighter whey is then collected in the center and removed. Centrifugal separators are highly efficient and can process large volumes of milk quickly, making them ideal for large-scale cheese production.

Another type of separator commonly used in cheese production is the gravity separator. This method relies on gravity to separate the whey from the curd. The curd is allowed to settle in a tank, and the whey is then drained off. Gravity separators are relatively simple and inexpensive to operate, making them a popular choice for small-scale cheese producers.

In addition to centrifugal and gravity separators, there are also membrane filtration systems used in cheese production. These systems use semi-permeable membranes to filter the whey from the curd. This method allows for precise control over the separation process and can be used to produce a wide range of cheese varieties with varying levels of moisture and texture.

Ultimately, the choice of separator depends on several factors, such as the type of cheese being produced, the desired texture and flavor, and the scale of production. By carefully selecting the appropriate separator, cheese producers can ensure that their products meet the desired quality standards and are produced efficiently and cost-effectively.

cheese preparation

Technological process of clot concentration using separators

The technological process includes the following operations:

1. Acceptance and preparation of raw materials.

2. Pasteurization and cooling of cream.

3. Pasteurization and cooling of skimmed milk

Skimmed milk is pasteurized at temperature 78±2 °С with delay of 15-20 seconds. When accelerated production method, milk is pasteurized at temperature 85° 2 ° C or 90° 2 ° C without endurance. In case of production necessity it’s allowed to season at specified conditions – 10 minutes and 3 minutes. Pasteurized skimmed milk is cooled down to fermentation temperature and directed to the tanks of 5-10 m 3 for fermentation and fermentation.

4. Fermentation and fermentation

Fermentation and fermentation of skimmed milk is performed in the tanks equipped with stirrers which provide even and thorough mixing of skimmed milk with yeast and clot before separation.

Completion of mixing is determined by the titratable acidity of the clot.

5. Heating and cooling of the clot

Ready clot mixing for 5-10 minutes and transferring to the plate pasteurization-cooling unit for clot, where it’s heated to the temperature 60±2°С and cooled to the temperature 28±2°С.

After cooling the clot is fed through a mesh filter into a separator for obtaining skimmed curd.

6. Separation of the clot

For reception of the concentrated curd with a required mass fraction of a moisture the drum of the separator is completed with nozzles of various diameter.

To avoid intensive separation of whey from the clot during the separator work, periodically turn on an agitator in the tank.

7. Cooling of concentrated clot

At the exit of the separator the concentrated clot goes to the pump hopper to transfer it to the cooler, where it is cooled down to the temperature 14±2°С and is directed to the further processing.

8. Mixing of concentrated clot with cream and (or) other fillers

The concentrated slurry is drawn from the cooler into the mixer, which is also fed with cream and/or other fillers. Mixing takes place in the flow.

The use of thickener concentrators has a number of advantages over filtration: consistent product characteristics, ability to integrate with existing equipment, continuous operation time.

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