Precise Powder on Shredded Cheese
Our customer requested a complete shredded cheese production line that was capable of very precise powder application and consistent cheese blends. The system needed to be fully automatic with consistent powder delivered +/- 0.5% of setpoint to meet their end user’s quality demands. The system needed to be dynamic so that every finished bag had the correct percentage of powder compared to old systems where a daily mass balance is sufficient. The objective was to produce premium, long, high-quality shreds. Small pieces and fines were not acceptable to their end user. The production line also needed to run multiple cheese blends without precutting blocks to reduce labor. Multiple daily tests of powder application percentage and shred appearance are performed as part of customer’s quality procedure.
Cheese types: Cheddar, Mozzarella, Monterey Jack and Provolone
Cheese temperature: 32–42 F (0-5.5 C)
Cheese moisture Content: 40–54%
Cheese fat content: 15–30%
Infeed blocks: 1lb, 2lb, 5lb and 40lb blocks (450g, 900g, 2.25kg and 20kg blocks)
Production rate: 16,000 lbs./hr. (7,250 kg/hr.)
Finished product: Oval shred 2” (50mm) typical length
Powder flow agent: Cellulose at 2% and Potato Starch at 2.5%
Control platform: Allen-Bradley
Room humidity: Less than 50%
Packaging: Foodservice bags 5lb, 10lb and 20lb (2.25kg, 4.5kg, and 9kg)
Marchant Schmidt designed a production line that achieved our customer’s application needs.
The operator loads 2 full blocks onto the infeed belt of the MS80e cuber and it automatically advances when the system demands cheese cubes. The infeed blocks are often different cheese varieties that are automatically combined and create a cheese blend. The dissimilar cheese cubes are conveniently mixed in the MS3000 conveyor producing a homogeneous cheese blend.
Cubes are elevated on the MS3000 conveyor and deposited into dual Urschel CC-DL shredding machines. At the top of the MS3000 a camera precisely and continuously measures the cube mass to determine the powder required.
The shred is collected on a trough conveyor where the PD2000 powder dispenser accurately applies the exact percentage of powder requested for the production recipe. A scale under the PD2000 validates the flow and automatically compensates for minor fluctuations in powder output.
Powder is vacuum conveyed to the PD2000 from an adjacent room. This hygienic system produces more consistent powder dispensing and substantially reduces airborne dust in the production room.
Finally, the mixing drum gently coats the cheese shreds while maintaining high-quality, long shreds that generate higher sell price and more profit.