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You usually make grated cheese from hard cheeses, like Cheddar, Parmesan, Edam, Red Leicester, etc. The process starts with processed cheese, in blocks or sliced, fed to the grating machine. After that, you mix it with ingredients that prevent molds from occurring and to reduce the grated cheese moisture. Then you dry the grated cheese and weigh it before it is ready for packing.

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Getting your cheese grating equipment started

The process for making hard cheese is similar to regular cheese except for the aging process. Extending the aging process makes the cheeses hard. In industrial grated cheese production, blocks of cheese or in large, sliced pieces go into the grating machine through a conveyor. These cheeses are usually the hard variety. After grating the cheese, you mix it with mold-inhibiting ingredients and anti-caking agents. They are important because they avoid molds and lumps from developing in freshly grated cheese. The next step it to convey the mix to a mechanical or tray drying equipment. From there, the grated cheese goes to an automated weighing machine that drops the correct weight of the product to the packing machine.

How do you prefer your cheese? Shredded and soft or grated and hard

Shredded cheese is usually a term used for grated soft cheeses since their appearance are long thin strips. Hard cheeses, when grated, look uneven or in powder-like form. The process of shredding soft cheese is similar to hard cheese. Soft cheeses, like hard ones, also require anti-caking agents and mold-inhibiting ingredients mixed after the grating process. The process of grating hard and soft cheese is similar, so you can use the same equipment for grating, drying and weighing.

Weighing your grated cheese and making it ready for packaging

The two most widely used packaging for grated cheese are plastic pouches/bags and hard plastic containers with lids. The packaging depends on the manufacturer’s choice, volume and weight of the product, and appearance. The advantage of hard plastic containers with lids is the barrier protection when handling the products. This minimizes the chance of squeezing the product. For the plastic bags/pouches, the advantage is the flexibility in handling. On the other hand, these packages are more prone to producing clumps on the grated cheese when squeezed. For large quantities of grated cheese, the preferred choice of packaging is the hard plastic container, as this minimizes the chance of producing clumps during handling.

Getting the best cheese: quality control in packaging

For any product that comes out of the factory, good quality control practice guarantees consistent quality with every single item in the production line. Even in packaging lines, defects can be found from sealing, packaging material, and volume or weight of the content. For example, dairy products, such as grated cheese packed in plastic bags or pouches, need to be sealed properly as exposure or contamination can cause the product to deteriorate rapidly. In addition, the development of molds from outside bacteria can be detrimental to the consumers’ health. Therefore, as part of a quality check, you can use inspection machines to detect such defects in the packaging line.

Processing steps involved in grated-cheese making

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