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Chedder Whey Processing

Figure 7 Curd and whey are separated in a rotating strainer. 1, Curd/whey mixture; 2, drained curd; 3, whey outlet. (From Ref. 1, courtesy of Tetra Pak Processing Systems AB, Sweden.)

for 15-20 min. After being pressed, the curd is marked off into squares of exactly equal size and the pieces are cut out with a knife or with a special cutter as shown in

3. Cheddar cheese is made by this procedure. It is very important that the acidification has reached the desired pH before molding because the cheese chips are dry salted before the molding. The salt will inhibit further growth of starter bacteria. Note that no holes (due to CO2 production) are wanted in Cheddar cheese.

4. The so-called 'Pasta filata' process is much like the Cheddar process. But when the cheese curd has finished acidification at pH 5.2-5.25, it is netted in warm water or in a salt brine at a temperature of 75-80°C (167-176°F), until the curd has reached a temperature of approximately 57°C (135°F). After this, the curd is formed in a mold and the formed cheeses are cooled.

Molding takes from 30 to 60 min. The acidification is continued during molding in procedure 1 and 2, but acidification must be complete before molding in procedure 3 and 4. A more detailed description of handling of different cheese curd types is available in Chapter 16. Figure 7 shows how curd and whey are separated in a rotating strainer, and Fig. 8 shows a mechanically operated prepressing vat with an unloading and cutting device. An advanced system, the Casomatic, is shown in Fig. 9. This machine can continuously do prepressing, block cutting, and molding (1).

B. Pressing of the Cheese

After having been molded or hooped (molds for Cheddar cheese are called hoops), the curd is subjected to a final pressing. This is done in order to press the last free moisture from the cheese and to form the cheese.

Curd Acidification Vat Cheese

Figure 8 Mechanically operated prepressing vat with unloading and cutting device. 1, Prepressing vat (can also be used for complete pressing); 2, curd distributors, replaceable by CIP nozzles (2a); 3, unloading device, stationary or mobile; 4, conveyor. (From Ref. 1, courtesy of Tetra Pak Processing Systems AB, Sweden.)

Figure 8 Mechanically operated prepressing vat with unloading and cutting device. 1, Prepressing vat (can also be used for complete pressing); 2, curd distributors, replaceable by CIP nozzles (2a); 3, unloading device, stationary or mobile; 4, conveyor. (From Ref. 1, courtesy of Tetra Pak Processing Systems AB, Sweden.)

Pre Pressing Whey

Figure 9 Casomatic, an intermittently operating continuous prepressing system, supplemented with mold filler. 1, Curd/whey mixture inlet; 2, column with sight glass (not shown); 3, perforated whey discharge; 4, interceptor; 5, whey balance tank; 6, cutting and cheese discharge system; 7, mold; 8, pawl conveyor; 9, whey collecting chute. (From Ref. 1, courtesy of Tetra Pak Processing Systems AB, Sweden.)

The final pressing is initiated with a relatively low pressure because the rind may otherwise be too close before the whey is pressed out. This may result in pools of whey in the outer layers of the cheese and under the rind which can produce problems such as acid rind, spots in the outer edge, and fermentation under the rind. The pressure used in processing is different for the different types of cheese; it varies from 4 to 40 times the weight of the cheese, as shown in Table 1 (5).

To get uniform products, the pressing time is kept constant for each cheese variety, even if pressing time and pressure can substitute for each other to some extent. The proper time depends on several conditions, but normally round-eyed cheese is pressed longer than open-texture cheese, under equal conditions. Manually operated vertical and horizontal presses are available for small-scale cheese production as shown in Fig. 10. Pneumatic or hydraulic pressing systems simplify regulation of the required pressure. A more sophisticated solution is to equip the pressing system with a timer, signaling the operator to

Table 1 Examples of Pressure and Pressing Times

Pressure

Table 1 Examples of Pressure and Pressing Times

Pressure

Cheese

Kg

/kg

Equal to ~ kPa

Time

Emmentaler

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