APPLICATION

Application of a liquid ferment on a cheese curd form

A matured cheese develops an uneven, tasty, flavoured, or even coloured surface due to the activity of microorganisms. The occurrence of the organisms was traditionally left to the atmosphere conditions. Being different from a place to another, it resulted in a multiplicity of traditional cheese types and variations in quality. Cheese-making industries want to control the growth of these microorganisms to achieve a constant quality. Selecting and applying a given mix of microorganisms improve the production and narrow the tolerances.

Updated Jul 31, 2021 - 10 min Read

BASE

Core products

The base product is a moist shape issued from the settling process of a standardised milk.

RECIPE

Ingredients

The mix comes in a dry and stable form.
It consists in :

  • Microorganisms such as bacteria and yeasts
  • Hydrocolloid

The mixes are tailored to suit the desired gustative profile of the cheese to be. They are supplied by companies specialised in microbiology and culture for food.

PROCESS

How does it work?

First a liquid suspension is prepared by dispersing the dry mix with water. The suspension must be homogeneous and stable. It is kept chilled to prevent the growth of the microorganisms before the application.

The suspension is applied evenly on the surface of the cheeses. They usually come in rows and lines corresponding to the moulds they have been formed with.

Given the number of individual products to process, it is a continuous or semi-continuous operation inserted in a larger continuous production. Alternatively, the suspension may be applied on the inner surface of the mould prior to the moulding step of the curd into a shape. In both cases, the cheeses are left to mature.

1.

Ferment preparation

2.

Application by dipping, spraying

PROCESS

Coating system

Liquid is applied by dipping into a bath, or with a curtain system, or better with a spray system.
Manifolds of several spray guns or mobile devices are designed to apply the required dose evenly, while limiting losses out of the cheese surface. It also aims at limiting airborne pollution which may become a health hazard.

PROCESS

Coating system

Spraying combines target precision and accurate dosage

PRODUCT EVALUATION

How do you measure your success?

Key quality features

Evaluation is more than a gastronomic treat

Homogeneity

It guarantees an even growth under similar conditions

Product integrity

The shape of the form must be preserved, the lesser handling the better

Taste

The flavour profile depends on the selection of  microoragnisms

Key quality parameters

As it involves a live process, the control factors are more critical

Dosage

The concentration and cost of the ferment requires an curate dosage

Application

It should prevent spoiling the environment and avoid hazard issues

Stability

The ferment being a live liquid must be preserved from erratic growth. The equipment should be easy to clean to remove all traces of ferment between production runs