Richard Avery -
October 01, 2013
Cheese-making companies large and small make extensive use of stainless steel to produce their high-quality products. Although dwarfed by the giants in the industry, the Klondike Cheese Company occupies a secure niche in the enormous market for U.S. dairy foods. The company, like all other competitive cheese-makers, uses nickel-containing stainless steel in its production process. In Klondike’s case, products include feta, muenster and havarti cheeses, as well as Greek-style yogurt.
Each of Klondike’s products has its own production procedure.
The first step in making feta cheese, for example, involves a computerized, fully automated coagulator. This 55-metre-long (180-foot-long) component is made of Type 304L and was engineered and constructed specifically for Klondike (see Fig. 1). The coagulator is essentially a moving trough with dividers that form individual cells. It takes about an hour for the product to travel the length of the line.
Further processing includes cutting the curd and soaking it for 24 hours in brine in a tank made of Type 316L (S31603) stainless. Next the feta is vacuum-packaged in loaf form or else in the familiar crumbled form for Greek salad.