Standardization process is the initial stage of cheese making, and it involves separation of milk fat and skim milk by centrifugal force. The cream and skim milk go through an infrared spectrometer where the fat and milk are mixed according to the desired ratio to make cheese. The next stage is pasteurization to kill all pathogenic bacteria. Pasteurization requires milk to be heated to a temperature of 72°C for about 15 seconds.
A lactic acid, making bacteria, is added to the cooled milk to produce the final distinct flavor of the cheese. Once the cheese-making vat is full, rennet, a coagulating enzyme, is added when the milk has become dormant. This stage is known as the coagulation stage, and it takes 30 to 40 minutes. The milk turns to curd which is then cut into small particles to release whey.
A rotating cutting knife cuts the cheese and stirs the curd in the vat. It takes 5 to 10 minutes depending on the required moisture content of the final cheese product. The curd is then allowed to develop a top membrane before the cooking phase (Anne, 2013). The cooking phase of the curds is achieved by continually applying heat through the vat surface using steam or hot water. It usually occurs over a 40-minute span where the curd temperature is raised from 31°C to 38°C. Moisture is expelled from curd particles, and the curd starts to harden. Stirring continues until the required pH level is attained. Once the right pH is attained, the vat is emptied into a machine known as an Alfomatic. The curd is drained to separate it from whey through a draining screen.