The plant produces 6,000 tons of pasta filata cheese annually and wanted to grow its production. To ensure that the plant would remain profitable in a market characterized by tough competition, the producer set out to explore ways to maximize output value. In this process, it quickly became clear that their coagulant, a second-generation Fermentation Produced Chymosin (FPC) from a Chr. Hansen competitor, was a roadblock.
Limited cheese yield
One area the cheese producer investigated was how to get more cheese out of their production. With their original coagulant, they experienced high losses of fat and thereby lower cheese yield.
Low whey quality
The producer also looked into the value of the whey when sold. The whey customer of the cheese producer removes minerals with ion exchange when processing the whey – making the level of sediment key. Their original coagulant, they found, caused a high fraction level of sediment in the whey, resulting in a lower selling price.
Significant giveaway when slicing
In the slicing process, they had issues with the texture of the cheese as it was slightly too soft and difficult to slice without significant loss. They also experienced issues with molds as the packaging of sliced cheese was not sealed properly due to fines leaving tiny air pockets with oxygen. The speed of slicing was also not as fast as desired. The cheese producer searched for a coagulant that could make the cheese optimal for slicing without compromising the taste.
We presented CHY-MAX® Supreme to the cheese producer as the solution to increase output. Our hypothesis was that by replacing their preferred coagulant at the time with CHY-MAX® Supreme, they would be able to improve yield and whey quality and reduce waste during slicing.
To test the hypothesis, Chr. Hansen and the producer carried out a series of trials in close collaboration, tracking key performance indicators like dry matter, fat and protein levels, taste and texture.
The trials confirmed our hypothesis. With CHY-MAX® Supreme, the cheese producer was able to improve yield, improve whey quality and reduce waste during slicing.
CHY-MAX® Supreme retained 5.2% fat in the curd compared to the previous coagulant. Furthermore, the protein recovery increased by 3.2%. This means that the increase in yield was 2.1% (moisture adjusted) – equaling 241 tons of cheese more per year with the same amount of milk.
Increased whey quality
The new coagulant also resulted in less sediment. This enabled the cheese producer to sell the whey at a significantly higher price, and the value of the whey increased by 26%.
Lower losses during slicing
The producer also experienced that the texture of the cheese is now optimal for slicing. This decreases loss, enables a consistent and fast production and makes it possible to have thinner slices. Also, due to less fines, they now experience less mold in the packaging. All contributing to wasting substantially less cheese.
Altogether, switching to CHY-MAX® Supreme has enabled the producer to optimize and transform their production to become much more effective and sustainable, paving the way for future success.