Economic Separation Solutions

GEA offers a range of centrifugal separators and decanters that are key technologies in the production of soft cheeses such as quark, cream cheese and double cream cheese.

The Thermo Quark process

Quark, for example, is made by adding lactic acid bacteria and/or rennet to skimmed milk, to make it ferment and clot. GEA’s KDE centrifuges are then be used to separate the solid constituents from the liquid, after which cream can be added, dependent upon the desired fat content. GEA has developed its centrifuge technologies into the Thermo Quark process, which ensures better recovery and a longer shelf life than traditional extraction processes. The Thermo Quark process, which is today used in 90% percent of all quark production operations, allows the nutritionally valuable whey proteins to be precipitated, bound covalently to caseins and quantitatively added to the soft cheese, which can increase yields by 10%. Heat-treating the coagulated milk also increases the shelf life to up to 30 days.

GEA’s latest generation of nozzle separators was developed specifically for the production of soft cheeses. The technology allows the fully automated control of soft cheese consistency, or proportion of dry matter, which can improve the overall cost performance by minimizing product losses and generating higher yields. A Thermo Quark line can also be used to improve the production of Baker’s cheese.

Whereas GEA’s KDE series of separators are used to make regular cream cheese, our KSE type separators support the production of double cream cheese – a soft cheese with a fat content of at least 60% (dry matter) and a total dry matter of 40–44%.

Producing high quality casein

GEA’s separator, decanter and washing systems are used to support the recovery of casein by acid or rennet precipitation. High quality casein is produced from pasteurized, clarified skimmed milk that is heated to coagulation temperature in a plate heat exchanger, and precipitating out the casein.

The coagulated casein is separated from the whey by decanters, and the whey is then clarified, cooled and further processed. The raw casein is then purified further and dried to a residual water content of 10% (maximum). A closed GEA system is available that uses a very low quantity of washing water, saves natural resources and simultaneously reduces production costs.