The columns are built with an inner perforated tube. When a vacuum is applied inside the column, this creates a downwards flow, compressing the curd. The operator can adjust the degree of vacuum pressure and duration, to remove the exact amount of whey desired. This enables very controlled and stable forming, and allows for the production of a variety of different fresh cheeses.
No mould concept
Instead of moulds, this unit uses whey drainage and a vacuum system to draw and compress the curds. After cutting, each portion of cut cheese is pressed from beneath, helping to create the exact size, shape and weight of cheese required. The no-mould concept completely eliminates the need for mould cleaning (with its associated economic and environmental costs i.e. water and chemical use) and reduces the risk of bacterial contamination. Manual handling is also reduced – a single operator can handle this machine.
Automatic dosing system
The dosing system consists of stamps, knives and cups. First the knives are opened, then the cheese moves down and out of the column into the cup. The knives then close to make the cut. Stamps press each cheese from underneath, pushing them up against the knife, and a vacuum is applied to remove any excess moisture. The size of the cheese can be changed simply by moving the position of the stamps inside the cup. The operator can make adjustments via the operator panel, during operation.
Collecting as much whey as possible has both economic and environmental benefits. More of the raw material is used, reducing waste and ensuring you get the most out of your raw ingredients. While the curd and whey is inside the column, whey is drained first through the perforated walls of the hopper. Removal of whey from the upper section of the column happens naturally, thanks to gravity. In the lower section, more whey is removed, this time by vacuum. During portioning, further whey is sucked off the surface of the cheese, also by vacuum. For certain cheeses, such as panela, an additional whey draining stage takes place as the curd enters the columns.
Hopper & Auger
As the curd and whey falls into the hopper, two augers rotate to draw it into the unit. The speed and direction of the augers is programmed to ensure the curd is evenly spread between all the columns. Having the same amount of product in every column leads to stable and controlled product quality.