Processing Cheddar Cheese
The processed cheese is a mixture of cheese, water, and distinct permitted ingredients (depending on the law) such as powdered milk, cream, anhydrous milk fat, vegetable oil, whey protein, casino, starch, coloring, viscosity, pH, and texture. A balance is achieved by binding of water and fat content using various salts while emulsifying.
Two popular salts are phosphates and citrates. Both these cheeses and the restricted variety have the same ingredients, but the size of this production process varies depending on the final product. Let’s understand the process.
The formulation and actual processing methods vary; however, the general process can be summarized as follows.
- The cheese is washed, rinsed, and then sliced or grinded into small pieces.
- The sliced cooker is used to melt pieces of cheese, water, emulsifying agents, milk proteins, and other added ingredients. Usually, the spread of cheese contains an additional 20 – 40% water and the Block / Slice contains 2- 25% water.
- It is then cooked between 160 – 195ºF or more. The cooking time for cheese-type products is between 10 – 15 minutes, for blocks 4 – 5 minutes is the most common.
- The temperature is usually about 265 – 300ºF which is elevated by pasteurization.
- The product is then packed after getting combined and passing through an inline mixer/homogenizer along with distributed products.
- The product is then dropped and the distribution products are cooled down quickly. However, the blocked / cut products are allowed to slow down, thereby making the desired texture available.
The mixing phase is the most critical part of the production process. Proper distribution and activation of emulsifying agents, milk, and salt proteins is the key to a stable product with good texture or taste. The mixture of cheese and the mixed liquid phase should be combined effectively to ensure the right reaction between cheese protein, milk protein, and salt. When using common mixing equipment, you may encounter varied problems. Some of the major issues are as follows.
- When dissolved in water, emulsifying and stabilizing agents tend to form aggressive agglomerates that cannot be easily broken down by noise.
- Hydration requires longer processing periods for which high shear mixing is required to obtain throughput.
- Improper hydration can lead to unsatisfactory “mouth” and unstable product leading to storage problems whenever the product is turned on.
- Protein accumulation results in texture and fat problems. The stability of low-fat products is difficult to achieve without a shear focused on the preparation and proper distribution of emulsifying agents and proteins.
The Wahal Engineer High Shear Mixer can resolve this difficulty, enhance premix preparation, and the final homogenization phase before packing. The benefits are based on the 3rd phase of a good mix of the Wahal Engineer head category.
Let’s check how it works!
The rapid rotation of the rotor blades create a strong absorption that pulls the liquid and solid / powdery ingredients into the work surface. We can add this step to avoid the need for pre-mixing.
The synthetic material is placed in a strong stock in the closed area of the work head. The agglomerate is then broken in the space between the rotor blades and the stator wall.
The product is enforced out of the stator when the new material is pulled to the work head. The blood mixing cycle grows when all the material passes through the Wahal Engineers work head, quickly forming a similar mix.