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Coating of cheese shreds with an anitcaking agent


Cheese shreds are either a consumer product or a semi-finished product used in the prepared meal industries. To prevent the agglomeration of the shreds after grating and until the use, they are coated with an anticaking agent.


Shreds are made by grating either traditional cheeses (Emmenthal, Cheddar) or specially processed cheese for this purpose. It usually has a relatively high moisture content and fat content, between 30 – 40% each. These amounts cause re agglomeration of the cheese after grating; thus showing a defective aspect or preventing the further processing in automatic dosing machines.


The powder coating is based either on :
  • cellulose, microcristalline cellulose,
  • potato, modified wheat starch,
  • talc.
In some case, powder flavours can be added into the mix to convey a distinctive aroma profile.


The coating sequences run as follows:
  1. collecting the shreds from the grating unit,
  2. powder dosing, +0.1 – 3.0%.
  3. mixing.

Coating system

The operation occurs usually in a rotary tumbler or rotating screw whose length and diameter are calculated to accommodate the product flow.
The coating relies on dispersion of the powder ingredients optionally, then on the mechanical dispersion caused by mixing.
Dispersion can be enhanced by distributing the powder prior to its fall onto the product:
  • by blowing air. Electrostatic is recommended to prevent pollution,
  • by using a vibratory scarf tray.
The product throughput needs to be recorded precisely (weigh band feeder, for example) in order to adjust according to the recipe the powder doser. The later can be volumetric or gravimetric, then offering a better precision and traceability of failure.
It is commonly continuous operation. Rotation speed is adjusted to achieve the required friction and residence time. The residence time is relatively short as powders tend to disperse easily.

Key features

How to specify:
  • product: throughput, bulk density, particle size, flow behaviour,
  • powder : addition rate, bulk density, flow behaviour,
Main equipment characteristics
  • coating machine: length, diameter and accessories design,
  • powder dosing : precision, anti bridging device,
Variable parameters
  • coating machine: rotation speed, tilt angle (tumbler)
  • powder dosing : rotation speed
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Grated coated cheese shreds
Cheese coating process diagram
Coating machine, courtesy of Transitube, Dpt Biturbine
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