Two types of membrane filtration processes, namely ultrafiltration and microfiltration, are used for protein standardization in milk. While ultrafiltration is used to standardize the total protein, microfiltration is used to standardize the casein.
Standardization of the protein using ultrafiltration or microfiltration evens out the seasonal variation of the protein content in milk and results in a more stable cheese making process.
Other advantages include:
- stable ingredient control of the cheese making process
- improved utilization of the cheese vats
- repeatable process parameters day to day
- uniform, high-quality cheese
- same cheese volume from each vat
- reduced rennet consumption
- reduced operational costs
- increased cheese making capacity
- increased yield of cheese per mass of milk
- These advantages give more control of production with less quality variation in the final product due to stable process parameters and standardized protein levels.
Incorporated with the membrane system is typically the use of NIR (Near Infrared) technology to optimize the overall membrane filtration process.