“We know we can always call CDR to talk cheese.”
Troubleshooting, Product Development, Education And More
With more than 200 combined years of experience, CDR’s Cheese Industry and Applications Staff work to build a sustainable competitive advantage for the domestic cheese industry through leadership in innovative strategic research, technology, product development, outreach, and continuing education.
From Cheddar to Sweet Swiss, Queso Fresco to Juustoleipa, bloomy to surface ripened cheeses, CDR’s licensed cheesemakers and dairy researchers serve as a technical resource in the development, troubleshooting, and utilization of cheese products.
Our staff provides a wide array of services to the cheese industry. It may be as simple as providing an expert opinion to a routine question, or it may involve the need to carry out cheesemaking trials. Our staff interact with our partners on a daily basis to determine their goals and objectives when we set-up, design, and carry out cheese trials. Contracted trials may involve testing ingredients, developing new cheeses, optimizing flavor and performance in existing cheeses, or simply finding answers to your questions. We also provide troubleshooting assistance for U.S. companies who are looking for expert assistance in regards to their product defects or shortcomings.
Sensory and Functionality
Our staff may be able to assist you in other areas. We have a full application kitchen with cooking options similar to restaurants large and small. This allows us to evaluate a how cheese tastes and functions in various food applications. Additionally, we have analysts who can conduct compositional, chemical, microbiological and functional testing. In addition to basic compositional, chemical and microbiological testing we offer functionality testing through our applications kitchen as well as cheese grading, screening and descriptive analysis through our sensory program. Whether you are looking to optimize flavor and performance or simply find an answer to a burning question, the CDR cheese group is available to help.
Success Story: Hoard's Dairyman Farm Creamery
What do you get when you take the knowledge and skill of Wisconsin cheesemakers and the Center for Dairy Research (CDR) and combine it with high-quality Guernsey milk from Hoard’s Dairyman Farm? The answer is some really great, unique cheese.Read More
How to get a Wisconsin Cheesemaker License
Visit the State of Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection to learn how to earn a Wisconsin Cheese, Butter or Grader license.
Have a question? View the answers to some of the frequently asked questions (FAQs) that CDR's Cheese staff receive.
Cheese Farm to Fork
Consumers have shown a greater interest in understanding where their food comes from and how it is manufactured. To aid in consumer education efforts, CDR has created a visual illustrating the path cheese typically takes as it moves from Farm to Fork.
CDR Cheese Pilot Plant Equipment
The CDR offers a fully equipped, pilot-scale cheese processing plant as well as access to experienced staff to assist in the planning and coordination of your projects and research.
Located on the UW-Madison campus in Babcock Hall, the CDR cheese pilot plant is housed within a UW Grade A Dairy Plant with connections to the Food Science Department allowing for collaboration and shared resources. The Babcock Hall Dairy plant can also provide CDR coordinated projects with materials such as pasteurized milk, cream, skim milk or whey and/or larger scale equipment and tanks. The cheese pilot plant has the capability to conduct a wide range of dairy related research trials including cream cheese, butter and more.
Please note this equipment is NOT for sale.
Six Cheese Vats
Manufacturer/Model: Stoelting LV 60
Capacity: Maximum capacity of 600 lbs–these vats work best when filled with between 250 and 550 lbs of milk
CDR has six square, stationary, jacketed stainless steel open cheese vats capable of manufacturing everything from cottage and cream cheese to ricotta and parmesan–we have yet to encounter a cheese that cannot be made in these vats. The open style allows greater flexibility in producing different products and makes the vats ideal for teaching and research. We have cheese knives ranging in size from ¼” to 1” and a full complement of auxiliary equipment including a pasta filata mixer, pumps, pre-press, press, etc.
PASTA FILATA MIXER
Manufacturer/Model: Supreme 640
Capacity: Typically process ~50 lbs of cheese curd in 10 minutes
Description: The Supreme 640 is a steam injected mixer with several extrusion heads - allowing for the manufacture of loaf, ball, string and many other styles of Pasta Filata cheese. The water temperature and auger speed are adjustable and temperature probes are positioned to monitor water and cheese temperatures as the mixer is running.
CREAM CHEESE SEPARATOR
Manufacturer/Model: Sharples DS 2
Capacity: Minimum feed material batch size is 300 lbs with a minimum fat content of 9%
Description: The CDR separator is used to separate solids from serum-it is the only cream cheese separator in the U.S. that is available for contract research. CDR’s cream cheese line includes ripening vessels, the separator, a swept surface tank where the moisture can be adjusted and salts and stabilizers can be added and a homogenizer to smooth the final product. Note: A standard commercial butterfat separator is available in the Babcock Hall Dairy Plant.
Description: CDR has a wide variety of cheese forms available for drained and pressed cheeses–and we are bringing in new specialty cheese forms all the time!
10, 20, and 40 lb stainless steel rectangular block forms • Stainless steel perforated rectangular forms for Brick,Muenster, and Havarti-type cheeses • 12 lb plastic micro-perforated wheel forms–ideal for gouda • Plastic perforated round forms with and without bottoms–for brie/camembert and crottin-type cheeses • 20 lb plastic perforated wheel forms • Plastic perforated rectangular Feta block forms • A variety of round and rectangular plastic forms • 1 and 2 lb plastic wheel forms • 7 lb Manchego forms with woven decorative insert • 20 and 40 lb block forms and Colby horn forms designed for use with the DR Tech Vacuum Press • 2 35 lb Laude micro-perforated wheel forms ideal for gouda and hard alpine-type cheeses
Manufacturer/Model: Reiser Vemag Robot 500
Capacity: minimum batch size of 40 pounds of cheese
Description: The CDR Vemag presses cheese together using a double screw system aided by vacuum. This type of machine is widely used for Latin-American cheeses such as queso fresco. The Vemag is also particularly useful in double milled applications–such as incorporating fruits or nuts into ground cheese. After the cheese is reformed, it can then be portioned with the automatic portioner and guillotine. Also available are extrusion tubes of various lengths–several of the tubes include water jackets to allow the product to be tempered as it exits the extruder.
HIGH SHEAR (BOWL CHOPPER-STYLE) PROCESSED CHEESE COOKER
Manufacturer/Model: Stephan UM/SK5
Capacity: 5 pound maximum batch size
Description: The CDR Stephan UM/SK5 is a mobile, jacketed stainless steel cooker that utilizes indirect and/or direct steam for small batches of processed cheese. This cooker has a swept surface and main agitator (with the capacity to utilize either sharp or dull agitator blades) and a vacuum system. The unit’s high shear main agitator makes it ideal for European-style cheese sauces, spreads, etc.
Manufacturer/Model: Urschel CC-D
Description: A stainless steel commercial shredder–this model has several shredding heads available (Feather, V-cut, Crinkle), which makes it ideal for examining cheese machinability and preparing samples for further testing.
DAIRY PRODUCT AERATOR
Manufacturer/Model: Haas-Mondomix BV Continuous Aerator, Type Mini-Mondo Mixer
Capacity: 10 pound minimum batch size
Description: Used in the manufacture of soft dairy-based products, this research–scale mixer blends product with nitrogen to attain a specific overrun and a lighter, more spreadable texture.
LOW SHEAR, DOUBLE SCREW PROCESS CHEESE COOKER
Manufacturer/Model: Blentech CC-0025-V
Capacity: 20 pound maximum batch size
Description: With direct and indirect steam and a vacuum system, this jacketed cooker is ideal for U.S.–style processed cheese block manufacture.
BATCH BUTTER CHURN
Manufacturer/Model: W. M. Sprinkman Corp Custom Built Batch Butter Churn
Capacity: 30–240 lbs of cream yielding ~15–30 lbs of butter
Description: A portable, research-sized unit that can churn sweet, whey or cultured cream.
PORTABLE CHEESE VAT
Manufacturer/Model: Kusel Equipment Co.
Capacity: maximum capacity of ~450 lbs
Description: This rectangular portable, jacketed stainless steel open cheese vat can be heated with either steam or an electric immersion heater. It includes cheese knives and a draining screen, but requires manual agitation.
EYE CHEESE PRE-PRESS
Capacity: Four separate compartments and two pneumatic rams with an 80 psi maximum
Description: This stainless steel pneumatic pre-press presses the curd under whey, allowing for minimal mechanical openings and good eye formation in cheeses such as Swiss and Gouda.
Manufacturer/Model: Manufacturer/Model: Damrow
Capacity: 100 lbs
Description: This stationary, jacketed stainless steel starter preparation tank heats, cools, and agitates dairy liquids. It is ideal for processing and culturing bulk and secondary starter media.
4 MINI CHEESE VATS
Capacity: maximum capacity of ~5 gallons
Description: The CDR has access to four small, square, jacketed stainless steel cheese vats for special projects. These vats, which hold a maximum of 45 pounds of milk, are ideal for starter culture acidification studies.
HORIZONTAL CHEESE PRESS
Manufacturer/Model: Damrow Brothers Co. 2LS-12 Type H
Capacity: two sides – each will hold ~25 - 20 lb cheese blocks and can be adjusted from 20 to 80 psi
Description: This horizontal stainless steel pneumatic press holds a wide range of cheese forms.
VERTICAL CHEESE PRESS
Manufacturer/Model: Kusel A-Frame AFVS-SP
Capacity: maximum capacity of ~30 wheels and can be adjusted from 5 to 40 psi
Description: The A-Frame press allows for a greater degree of flexibility in pressing – both in the type of cheese form that can be placed in the press and in the psi range. This press is ideal for specialty cheeses that require frequent turning and variable pressing psi.
SWEPT SURFACE TANK
Manufacturer/Model: Scherping DJ 30 G
Capacity: 30 gallons
Description: A jacketed, swept surface stainless steel tank that is used to blend stabilizers, salt, and other ingredients into cream cheese or sour cream. It can also be used to blend, heat, and cool secondary starter media and other dairy products.
Manufacturer/Model: Gaulin 100 DJ F385J
Capacity: Minimum batch size of 40 pounds
Description: The CDR homogenizer is used to homogenize milk, cream, cream cheese, sour cream, and other dairy products. This homogenizer has one and two stage capability.
LOW SHEAR, TWIN SCREW PROCESS CHEESE COOKER
Manufacturer/Model: Loos 10 lb
Capacity: 8 to 10 lbs finished batch size
Description: This jacketed cooker simulates the lower shear of production twin screw cookers to produce process cheese block and spreads. The smaller batch size allows the production of a number of different samples in one day. The cooker is supplied with culinary steam heat and can heat either directly or indirectly. The auger speed can be altered using a variable speed drive.
LOW SHEAR, TWIN SCREW PROCESS CHEESE COOKER
Manufacturer/Model: Koss 5T
Capacity: 25 to 45 lbs finished batch size
Description: This jacketed cooker is able to produce larger quantities of product than the Loos. The unit has vacuum capability to remove entrained air from the product. In addition to direct and/or indirect culinary steam supply, the Koss cooker has an operator panel that controls the speed and direction of the augers, and measures product temperature. The unit is able to store run time, auger load, auger speed, and product temperature data. An associated wifi interface allows data storage on a remote PC.