US Patent Number
An apparatus for predicting milk coagulum cut-time in a cheese making process includes a light source, a sensor or detector for sensing diffuse reflectance of light from said milk and a controller for analyzing the diffuse reflectance and accurately predicting the cut-time to significantly enhance overall yield. More specifically, the apparatus includes an optical probe which may be suspended over the milk or attached to a wall of a fermentation vessel in which the milk is contained. A method for predicting milk coagulum cut-time includes the steps of (a) directing light from a light source toward milk undergoing enzymatic hydrolysis; (b) sensing diffuse reflectance of that light from the milk; (c) analyzing the sensed diffuse reflectance profile and (d) signaling the cut-time. The sensing occurs at between 400 to 6000 nm. Specific mathematical formulae for the analyzing steps are also disclosed.
University of Kentucky Research Foundation, Lexington, Ky.
Payne, Frederick A. and Hicks, Clair L., "Method of Predicting Cut-Time of Milk Coagulum in Cheese-Making Process" (1992). Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering Faculty Patents. Paper 23.