Let's Make Plant-Based Cheese
Cheese is the most demanding food in the entire dairy family to emulate using non-animal and dairy free ingredients. The complex physical and taste profiles of animal-derived milk products make plant-based cheese manufacturing challenging to pull off. But the growing appetite for lactose-free and non dairy products is serving alternative platters of cheese.
Which plant-based cheese equipment do you need?
Complete cutting, mixing, emulsifying and heating system
Ultrafine pin mill
Flash drying system
Continuous extruder for mixing solids and liquids
Economic dispersing machine for emulsions and suspensions
Industrial sauce pan
Skin packaging machine
Stand-alone ultrasonic medium scale food cutting machine
Cake ultrasonic cutter
Industrial washer for plastic crates
Grated cheese case packing machine
Industrial guillotine machine for extruded foods
Leak tester for pouches and MAP packaging
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Select your plant-based cheese process
Tell us about your production challenge
Avoid sedimentation of large particles to produce a cheesy mouthfeel
The sensory attributes present a formidable challenge to the preparation of plant-based cheese. The flavors, taste, and aroma of plant ingredients do not match those of dairy products. Blend your base mix with nutritional yeast, tapioca starch and/or different types of alternative milk such as soymilk and nut milk to obtain a dairy-like sensory profile.
Similarly, plant material gives a different mouthfeel, usually produced by the sedimentation of larger particles. Adding sodium bicarbonate softens the plant material to reduce the gritty texture often associated with cheese made from dairy free ingredients.
Cheesemaking without dairy is difficult for many reasons. But the biggest challenge was finding a dairy free ingredient that contained enough fat to make vegan cheese a possibility. However, Food manufacturers found that cashew nuts, coconut and almonds would solve the problem.
Manipulate stretchability with moisture content
The famous Caprese salad or a classic pizza Margherita would be something else without mozzarella. The high water content emulsifies the milk protein to give the cheese its signature stretchability.
But plant protein has a narrow amino acid profile, so water content needs to be adjusted accordingly. Extruded fava protein requires between 40 and 50 weight percentage to achieve a similar stretchability. Moreover, oil and starch content of around 20 wt% each produce mozzarella-like meltability in vegan cheese.
Labeling restrictions for plant-based cheese processing
Many jurisdictions restrict the term ‘cheese’ to animal-derived items. The European Union forbids the term for products made from plant ingredients but stopped short of banning related dairy terms like ‘creamy’ or ‘vegan alternative to cheese’.
In the United States, the standards of identity of cheese products include animal-based dairy products. But the Food and Drugs Administration is assessing proposals to update the definition and applicability of terms.