From milk to cheese

Our journey starts in the milking parlour. Our goats are milked twice a day in a specially-designed barn.

step1

Inside the parlour

 

The milk is transported through a piping system from the milking parlour to the milk tank, where the goat milk is stored in a cool room (2 to 4 degrees).


step2

Milktransport

 

Every three days the mobile milk collection tanker (RMO) arrives to collect the goat milk from the farm and bring it to the cheese factory. Before the milk is pumped into the tanker, the driver takes a sample of the milk and ensures that the milk meets the various quality requirements. Once at the cheese factory, the driver runs another test before the goat milk is unloaded from the tanker to be sure that there are no antibiotics present in the milk.


   


step3

Arrival at the cheese factor

 

The RMO delivers the goat milk to the cheese factory in Gerkesklooster. The goat milk is received at a specially-equipped unloading point. Inside the factory, the goat milk is stored in separate tanks to cow milk and it is also processed into cheese separately.


Aankomst bij de kaasfabriek 


step4

The pre-factory

 

From the storage tanks, the milk is transported to the pre-factory. Here it is heated to a temperature of 67 degrees for 15 seconds in order to extend its shelf life. After pasteurisation (thermal destruction of bacteria) the milk goes directly to the curd processing units. Unlike cow milk, the fat in goat milk is not standardised. This means that the final product, goat cheese, has a higher fat content in winter than in summer. As a result, the operators in the cheese factory must fine-tune the production process.


Voorfabriek 


step5

In the cheese factory

 

This video shows the complete production process of goat cheese.


 


step6

Curdling the milk

 

Curdling the milk at a temperature of about 32 degrees, then cutting it, results in curds and whey. Adding starter culture provides a longer shelf life and is one of parts of the production process that ensures that the cheese tastes good. Adding rennet makes the milk solids (milk protein and milk fat) clump together, making the milk thicker. This thick substance is then cut into small, white grains (the curd). 

Filling and stirring the milk to mix all ingredients. Curdling the milk. Emptying the curd processing unit.




step7

The cheese is slowly taking shape

 

The curd is taken to the draining machine and the whey (the moisture the curd floats in) to the evaporator. The moulding and draining machine separates the curd from the whey. The curd falls into a cheese mould which determines the shape of the cheese. The cheese is then placed under a press to squeeze out the remaining whey. The cheese is removed from the mould in the small packaging line.


step8

The brine bath

 

After pressing, the cheeses are placed into a brine bath, which is a large reservoir filled with salt water. The cheeses remain floating in the brine for several days. Keeping the brine at the right strength, the right temperature and the right pH, ensures that there is just enough salt drawn into the cheese. This salt enhances the taste.


step9

The warehouse

 

The cheeses are transported from the brine bath to the warehouse using a conveyor system. In the warehouse, the cheese is stored to dry and mature at a constant temperature of approximately fourteen degrees. During this period the cheeses are coated with plastic several times, in order to inhibit dehydration and the growth of mould. The taste and composition of the cheese is checked regularly.


step10

Refering, packaging and delivery

 

After a maturation period of up to fifteen days in the warehouse, the natural cheeses are transported to FrieslandCampina in Leerdam for refining and packaging. Here, from the age of 5 weeks (for young cheese) through to 26 weeks (for mature cheese) each cheese is fitted with a paraffin layer, label and shrink wrap. The cheeses are then packed in boxes and stacked on pallets using a robot. The goat cheese is then distributed to countries around the world.

Veredelen, verpakken en afleveren