In the small town of Ringe on the island of Funen in Denmark, cheese powder manufacturer Lactosan makes sure food products all over the world has the right, cheesy flavour.
The taste of cheese is enjoyed all over the world in multiple food products such as crackers, chips and crisps, bread, sauces and more. The food industry thus needs cheese powders that are stable and consistently provide both a very specific taste profile and often also a certain texture to help the product achieve the right ”feel”.
One of world’s biggest suppliers of cheese powder
Consequently, Lactosan often develops a specific cheese powder for each customer and is meticulous about maintaining that powder’s consistency.
This has ensured the company’s popularity with customers and made Lactosan one of the world’s biggest suppliers of cheese powder.
Lately markets in particularly China and Japan have seen a substantial increase in demand for products containing powdered cheese – an upwards trend that Lactosan expects will continue.
Therefore, Lactosan has expanded its production facility. NIRAS has been the primary consultant during the whole expansion project, covering all aspects from initial process design to final construction and installation of the spray drying tower.
Spray drying tower makes tons of cheese powder
Central to the expansion is the construction of a new spray drying tower. Cheese powder is made by spray drying, which is essentially melting cheese and adding a little water and emulsifiers to create a stable fluid that is around 95 percent cheese.
This fluid is then atomized through a spray-nozzle at the top of a tall tower. The micro droplets of cheese then fall towards the bottom of the tower, while the liquid evaporates due to the hot and dry air in the tower. By the time the micro-droplets reach the bottom, they have become a dry cheese powder.
The equipment used for the spray drying process is extremely heavy and most of it is placed in the top of the spray drying tower, which therefore needs a very strong and stable foundation.
NIRAS process engineers and industrial architects
NIRAS’ process engineers and industrial architects collaborated closely to ensure the best possible design of the spray drying tower with regards to efficiency, the environment and stability.
The foundation contains around 1500 tonnes of concrete and 80 tonnes of steel, and the necessary industrial equipment will be smoothly integrated with the building.
Last but not least, the spray drying tower will feature an ambitious system for minimizing cheese odours from the exhaust air.
Facts about Lactosan
Did you know that Lactosan:
- employs around 110 people in Denmark and a further 125 people in the rest of the world?
- invented cheese powder? Factory manager Christian Jessen wanted to find a way to make cheese easier to store. He started experimenting with spray drying cheese already in 1951. During the 1960’s the demand for his product increased to a such an extend that Lactosan stopped producing other products and focused solely on cheese powder.
- primarily buys its cheese from dairy companies in Denmark and Europe, supplementing with cheese from Australia and New Zealand if necessary?
- uses many different cheeses in its production, for instance: Emmenthaler, Parmesan, Cheddar, Danish Blue and several other Danish cheese types? All deliveries of cheese are subject to a taste test done by one of Lactosan’s employees before they are used in production.