Real Time At-Line Coagulation Measurement Instrumentation System

Market Application

Traditionally the critical decision to cut the cheese coagulum (cheese gel formed after renneting) is made by the Cheesemaker at a cheese production facility.  The firmness of the cheese gel at cut time is a critical process parameter that impacts the yield of the batch.   The ability to accurately determine the optimum gel firmness to “cut the curd” at has been a desire of many medium and large cheesemaking companies for some time.  Current ways to automate this process do not directly measure the curd properties and are therefore not as accurate or as repeatable as the Cheesemaking market desires.

 

CoaguSens™ Process Technology


A novel at line real-time process instrument exists now that can more accurately determine the optimum time to cut the Cheese coagulum based on the actual elastic properties of the coagulum in a given Cheese batch.

 This unique and novel at-line process instrument enables Cheese producers to more accurately predict and improve their yield, adapt to seasonal changes in milk quality, and optimize their Cheese production process. 

 

This in turn results in improved production throughput, productivity, and profitability of the Cheese producer.  By improving Cheese yield and reducing losses, this powerful at-line process instrument can pay for itself with an attractive ROI for most mid to large sized cheese producers.

 

CoaguSens™ Typical Deployment

Fig 1. Three phase methodology to reduce cheese yield variation then increase yield

Step 1 is to collect batch data for both Elasticity and Yield.

Step 2 is to average Elasticity values obtained for best Yields and to use that mean Elasticity to actuate cheese gel cutting. Yield fluctuation will significantly diminish.

Step 3 is to increase or decrease mean cutting Elasticity by 10% to show Yield improvement. Step by step, Yield will be gradually improved to its optimum.

Depending on the number of batches produced every week, achieving maximum Yield will be reached in 3 to 6 months.


The Solution


The CoaguSens™ at line coagulation analyzer is specifically designed for the Cheese Production market.  By analyzing the kinetic properties of the coagulum to trigger automated cutting, the CoaguSens™ enables consistent yield optimization, reduced losses, and a more consistent final product.

CoaguSens™ mimics the coagulation process occurring in the vat. Immediately after vat renneting, a small sample is poured into a sample holder by the Cheesemaker. This container is placed into the thermal chamber of the instrument that will regulate temperature matching that of the vat.

At the desired frequency, CoaguSens™ will transmit vibrations to the tested Cheese gel and measure the signal in return to accurately calculate and plot Cheese gel elasticity on the touchscreen interface. Based on the Elasticity value, operator can either trigger curd cutting or CoaguSens™ can actuate it automatically. This non-destructive sample measurement process uniquely allows multiple measurements of the same sample and to plot coagulation kinetics. This technological breakthrough is patented by Rheolution.  

With this process instrument in use, Cheesemakers will see reduced yield variability, improved yields, and the ability to document and execute different make recipes with the same benefits.