Cheese Production Process
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Cheese Production Process

FrieslandCampina has a long history of producing high quality cheese. We have a wealth of experience using age-old Dutch traditions to make our naturally ripened cheese.

Good quality milk is the basis of our cheese. The Dutch green meadows provide the ideal environment for our cows to produce the best milk and every day our company receives fresh milk from member dairy farmers. A quality sample of the milk is taken before the milk leaves the farm.

 
 

Before the milk is used to produce cheese, it is subject to three processes.

Thermisation:

  • The milk is heated very briefly to 63°C to improve its bacteriological quality

Standardisation:

  • The fat content is brought to the correct level in huge centrifuges. This level varies and depends on the type of cheese being made

Pasteurisation:

  • The milk is heated again, this time to at least 72°C, and rapidly cooled afterwards to destroy any harmful bacteria

The Cheese Production Process

  1. Starter culture is added to the milk to convert lactose into lactic acid. Rennet is added to the milk to make sure the milk thickens.
  2. Many different types and combinations of starter culture and rennet may be used, depending on the type of cheese being made.
  3. Once the milk has become a solid mass, it is cut to separate the fluid, which is called whey, from the thick part, called the curd. The curd is the basic cheese element. The whey is drained off and used in all kinds of other products.
  4. The curd is transported into cheese moulds, where they are pressed into shape for approximately one hour.
  5. Every cheese has a unique hallmark that indicates its type, the fat content, the country of origin and its serial number. This cheese mark makes it possible to trace the production process of the cheese. It also proves it has followed the requirements of Dutch Dairy Legislation.
  6. After the cheese is pressed into the right shape, it goes into a brine bath for 2-5 days, where it acquires the right salt content, needed for preservation and its recognizable taste.
  7. During production the cheese gets its final shape, but it is still not ready for consumption. The cheese ripening process is extremely important because all kinds of biological transformations take place within the cheese which gives it its specific taste and aroma.
  8. FrieslandCampina has a variety of ripening rooms to ensure optimal ripening conditions. The cheese is ripened on wooden shelves which absorb moisture. It has to be turned regularly to prevent it from sagging.
  9. As a cheese ages it gets a different character, losing moisture and developing more flavour. The cheese is continuously monitored throughout the process to guard its high quality standards.
  10. FrieslandCampina cheeses undergo a ripening period that varies from 4 weeks for a mild cheese to more than a year for a matured cheese.
  11. Once a cheese has matured enough it is sealed with a paraffin layer that ends the ripening process and protects the cheese.