New cheese plant for Madeta in Czech Republic

GEA has installed a new cheese making plant for Madeta in the Czech Republic. The new plant, which has a staff of 150, can process up to 400,000 litres of milk a day, twice the capacity of the former facility. The site in Planá is one of four production sites operated in the Czech Republic’s South Bohemian Region by Madeta, the country’s biggest dairy group. Each day, the plant produces up to 42 tonnes of hard and semi-hard cheese, including maasdam, emmental, edam, gouda and tilsit.

The new installation includes milk storage tanks with connections to both upstream and downstream pasteurisers; five new 15 cubic metre integrated cheese vats; fresh water and dosing systems; whey extraction and storage, and heating of the cheese vats via a double jacket. GEA also supplied a new hygienic starter preparation system and the CIP system for the entire cheese area. The process includes double pasteurisation, involving one new line – including whey clarification and cream separation – and one existing line, which was upgraded. The existing separators were reused. The GEA Refrigeration Technologies division supplied a 500kW NH3 heat pump and optimised the existing refrigeration system for the new cheese plant.

Automation is provided through GEA Codex software, which includes both the GEA master and dynamic recipe systems, providing full control of the cheese making process. The GEA master recipe includes every element of the process line, including specifications regarding the addition of rennet, starter, wash water, colour and calcium chloride. GEA’s system used at the Planá plant makes it possible to flex the master recipe to factor in variations in the protein/fat ratio of the raw milk. All data is recorded by the GEA system and can be analysed using office tools, resulting in a more accurate and consistent cheese making process.

As part of this project, GEA also implemented its cheese milk calculator. Based on the quantities of cheese sold, this programme uses the cheese recipe to back-calculate the amount of cheese milk required and the ideal fat to protein ratio. Depending on the protein content of the raw milk, the calculator determines the mixture needed from the raw milk silos to achieve the ideal cheese milk composition as closely as possible. It is easy to adjust the fat content of the cheese milk, but the protein content can only be modified at this plant by mixing raw milks with different protein ratios.

Despite the restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic, the plant was handed over to the customer at the end of November 2020 as scheduled.

“Together with GEA, we successfully and constructively resolved all of the challenges arising in the course of this large project. Thanks to the cooperation, all major milestones were met despite the difficulties wrought by the pandemic,” concludes Ing. Petr Payer, technical director at Madeta.

The new Madeta plant in Planá is designed to process up to 400,000 litres of milk per day, but its capacity can be increased to up to 600,000 litres a day if required.

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