Mozzarella cheese production

Mozzarella cheese

Mozzarella block - Mozzarella shredded - Mozzarella diced - Mozzarella strings - Mozzarella cubes Frozen - Chilled - Cultured - Direct acid

Mozzarella Manufacturing

Traditional mozzarella production uses standardized and pasteurized milk that is cultured, coagulated, cut and cooked. After whey drainage, the curd is matted whilst acidit develops and the curd then milled prior to beingconveyed to the cooker.

The mozzarella cheese curd enters the cooker where the plasticizing and working process takes place in hot water. The hot plastic curd is extruded into moulds of the desired shape and weight. The cheese is then immersed in chilled brine to absorb salt and cool. Dry salting can also take place during the kneading process. Thie heating in hot water inactivates enzymes and reduces starter populations, slowing down the acid development in the cheese during refrigerated storage, this step is also viewed as a pasteurisation stage. The cooking process is responsible for the fibrous past filata stretching structure of mozzarella cheese. Standardising the fat to Casein ratio of the cheese milk increases yield and improves body and texture.

Mozzarella Cheese Milk Pasteurization temperatures

Higher pasteurisation temperatures are used to help with moisture retention when manufacturing low fat mozzarella cheese. Higher temperatures causes more whey proteins to denature and incorporating them in the curd. Whey proteins bind water and increasing the moisture content of the cheese. The moisture content of low fat mozzarella cheese improves gives a softer texture and mouthfeel. When the fat content is reduced in mozzarella cheese then the protein content increases, giving a cheese that is more difficult to melt and stretch properly and making it a less desirable cheese for Pizza. Increasing the moisture content gives asofter cheese although the cheese is now more prone to burning.

Mozzarella Cheese is frequently manufactured using an acid injection process combined with either bulk starter cultures or DVI freeze dried cultures.

DVI cultures require more incubation time but will generally result in a more consistent product and also reduce the susceptibility to phage attack due to the ability to change cultures as frequently as required without having to plan the change.

Acid injection takes place in the pasteuriser and requires temperature and volume control as well as a good inline static mixer.

The benefits of bulk starter culture are usually a better tasting product / more fuller flavour profile and also better melting properties due to increased microbial activity particularly during storage.

Manufacturing Mozzarella Cheese

  • Milk for Mozzarella cheese
  • Standardize & Pasteurise / acidify
  • Starter Culture addition
  • Renneting & Cutting
  • Incubating / Scalding
  • Whey Draining / Dry Matting
  • Milling
  • Cooking & Stretching
  • Moluding & Dry Salting
  • Cooling & Brining
  • Packaging / shredding

Homogenizing & Whitening cream for Mozzarella Cheese production

In some countries where the milk takes on a colour tint from the feed then the cheese becomes more yellow. Many pizza manufacturers prefer to have a white cheese and to this end Titanium dioxide was added but in more recent years this has been replaced by a cheese whitening process where the milk fat is high pressure homogenised which results in small fat globule size and increased distribution throughout the milk / cheese giving better light diffraction giving and increased total surface area of fat. This also benefits the finished product mouthfeel and consistency.

The cutting of the curds in the manufacturing of mozzarella cheese is important, using fewer cutting knives with reduced cooking temperature and timed agitation results in larger curd particles. Larger mozzarella cheese curd particle size retains more moisture during cooking. Larger curd is more prone to curd shattering which is why a timed, gentler agitation is used rather than continuous to reduce the risk of curd shattering.

Mozzarella Cheese Cooking Temperature

The incubation temperature in the cheese vat affects the moisture retention properties of the curd during the mozzarella cheesemaking process. Volume manufacturing of mozzarella cheese requires a very consistent product as a 0.5% yield loss due to varying make parameters can be extremely costly apart ffrom the problems of varying performance on the pizza. Consistency and control is critical. As a rule, the higher the cooking temperature the lower the moisture. Increased refrigerated storage time allows the cheese to further develop and give better melt and taste properties.

Mozzarella cheese pH control

The pH of the cheese / whey has an effect on rennet inactivation.
As the pH of the mozzarella curds and whey decreases prior to draining, more calcium is transferred from the curd into the whey.

Increase the cooking temperature to inactivate the rennet and a firmer body. Cheese pH is important because of its influence on proteolysis, which is very important in developing the melt and flavour properties in mozzarella cheese.

Matting

Fast acid development increases the rate of whey expulsion and reducing the retained moisture in the curd. For more rapid acid development and lower moisture then keep the curd warm and turn more frequently

Mozzarella Cheese Cooking & Stretching

The stretching temperature and residence time in the cooker influence aging in mozzarella. A small temperature can affect the finished cheese properties. The cooking and stretching also expels fat and influences yield and effluent.
Differences in stretching temperature cause differences in the amount of rennet that remains active in the cheese after stretching.The temperature and auger design and speed should be carefully controlled for your particular process, there is no one size fits all.
Brining and salting

The calcium content of mozzarella cheese is very important for both yield and finished properties.

When immersed in fresh brine the calcium is leached from the cheese into the brine resulting in a greasy feel to the cheese.

After a day or two of cheese has been through the brine then a noticeable difference will be found in the cheese.

When preparing fresh brine it is important to top up the calcium content of the brine to avoid this leaching and greasy cheese.

A similar fault occurs with manufacturers making mozzarella balls in a brine solution whre the balls will become greasy due to this leaching effect

Brine is normally well cooled, filtered and pasteurised to maintain quality. Without filtration, pasteurisation and good cooling then the manufacturer will likely have significant issues with high coliform counts and possibly other undesireable microbes.

Mozzarella cheese can also be smoked or smoke essence added.

Brine is made up water, salt, Calcium chloride (30%) solution, and acid. Mozzarella can keep for up to 6 weeks in chilled vacuum packs.


For more information or to discuss your requirements please contact us.

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jw@dairyconsultant.co.uk

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