Cheese Making: How to Start Small Scale Paneer Manufacturing


paneer
By Nithyasrm CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Paneer or cheese making is a highly lucrative business venture. The business requires effective planning, good marketing strategy and funding.
A small paneer making enterprise would need moderate investment and technical knowledge. The fresh cheese is popular in Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and south Asian countries.
The sturdy curdling heated milk is un-aged and has different additives. Producers separate the curd from the whey when the milk is heated.
The curd is drained in a cheese cloth and dipped in chilled water for 3 hours. Then additives are added kneaded or processed with machinery.
Paneer comes in two variations packaged or fresh and common in many culinary dishes. The cheese has lots of protein, vitamins, fats and minerals.
How to Start Small Scale Paneer Manufacturing
Different Types of Paneer
Due to demand the fresh cheese has gone through different changes and variations. Producers continually experiment with ingredients and heat treatment to produce unique tasting products.
Many countries have added their own local ingredients to develop their own variation of the fresh cheese. Different types of paneer are enriched low fat, low fat and fiber rich paneer.
Others are skim milk-paneer, soy paneer, protein-rich, vegetable infused paneer and spiced paneer
A list of Different Types of Paneer
Long- shelf life paneer
Processed paneer
Low fat
Spiced paneer
Vegetable infused paneer
Masala paneer
Curry paneer
Protein enriched
Soy
Fiber rich paneer
Ingredients used in making Paneer
Animal Milk
The major raw material used in the production of the cheese is milk and additives. Different types of milk sources are buffalo milk, cow milk, goat milk and sheep milk.
Other milk sources used by producers are dried milk, low fat milk and mixed milk. Buffalo milk produces high quality cheese because of the presence of huge amounts of casein, fat globules and minerals.
Mixed milk and buffalo milk fortified with non fat dry milk increase the yield.  Cow milk has additives added to the mix to produce the cheese.
List of Milk Sources for Paneer
Dried milk
Low fat milk
Sheep milk
Goat milk
Mixed milk
Cow milk
Buffalo milk
Additives used in the Preparation of Paneer
The producer determines the type of additive they use during the production process. Some additives are used to increase shelf life and add unique tastes or flavors.
Common additives are calcium compounds, vegetable oil, coconut milk, herbs and protein enrichment. Other additives found in paneer cheese are sodium compounds, salt, and buttermilk.
Protein enrichment increase nutritional value, sodium compounds for increased moisture and calcium for curd formation. Coconut milk increases quality, herbs for better quality, emulsifying salt adds composition and taste.
A list of Additives in Fresh Cheese
Fruit juices
Hydrocolloids
Dietary fibre
Salts
Sodium compounds
Butter-milk
Protein enrichment
Coconut milk
Vegetable oil
Herbs
Calcium compounds
Preparation Process of Paneer
The fresh cheese goes through heat treatment of milk and coagulation. The heat treatment destroys pathogens and reduces solubility of colloidal calcium phosphate.
To achieve desired yield they use heat of 90°C. There are different types of strength coagulants used by manufacturers. The coagulation of milk is done by process such as temperature coagulation and ph coagulation.
After the heating process and coagulation the cheese goes through whey drainage, hooping and pressing. The final stage is preservation and packaging the product.
Paneer has a very low shelf life and quickly depreciates after a few days. The manufacturing process is done either manually or through mechanization.
Quality Control
Put in place effective quality control mechanism to maintain taste of product. Make sure the microbiological quality of the product is consistent. Other things to look out for are color, smell and texture of the product.
Use in Dishes
Traditional Indian dishes introduce paneer into the composition. Common dishes include matter paneer, shahi paneer, paneer tikka, saag, rasgulla and palak paneer. Others are paneer bhurji, chilli paneer, kadai paneer and paneer capsicum.
Machinery and Equipment for Paneer Making
Common equipment used in the making of paneer are cheese vat, cheese cooker, cheese press and paneer mould. Other equipments are paneer vat, khowa pan, continous khowa making machine. You need milk tanks, silo, cold room and milk storage equipment.
Register the Business
Register your enterprise as a sole proprietorship business. Acquire a business name and insurance cover.
You need a manufacture and trade license to operate. Your product should pass a basic standardization test.
Apply labeling and manufacturer date on your product.  You can raise funds through target savings or borrow from friends and family.
You need a good location in an urban area or market place. Create a website for your business and sell online to customers.
Marketing Potential
There is a huge market in India and other Asian countries. The cheese features in many menus and is a staple in many homes.
You can sell your product in departmental stores, supermarkets, restaurants and hotels. Use advertisement in electronic and print media to introduce your product. Use online resources such as social media advertisements and forums.

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