Cheese is what you get from the milk of cows, goats, sheep, and other mammals by coagulating the milk and draining the whey. This is accomplished first by acidification with a bacterial culture and then by adding an enzyme to coagulate the milk.
The spray drying process for cheese powder
Cheese powder is mainly used in dips, dressings, biscuits, chips, and directly as flavoring on hot dishes like spaghetti and soups. In order to spray dry cheese, it is necessary to bring it into a liquid form. This is done by a normal melting process where the cheese rind is removed if necessary, the cheese is disintegrated, and during heating and agitation melting salts such as phosphates and citrates are added together with water.
The aim is to obtain a solid content of about 35 % and a temperature of 75 °C in order to get a feed that is not too viscous for atomization. The drying is done in a conventional spray dryer. The cooling of the powder is done in a VIBRO-FLUIDIZER™ supplied with ambient air in the first section and cold dehumidified air in the last section.
The integrated belt dryer FILTERMAT™
has proved especially advantageous for cheese powder as it is discharged in an agglomerated form. Further, the fines fraction is practically zero and thus does not present any operational problems.
As a certain amount of aroma is lost during the drying, it is recommended to use aged cheese. In order to avoid problems with the odor form, the exhaust air can be filtered through activated carbon filters.