Specialty Cheese

Speciality cheese covers a wide range of semi-hard, semi-soft and soft cheese types, typically small cheeses types, weighing from 300 g to 3.5 kg.

The SPC types are typically value-added cheese types produced in a multitude of varieties. Many of these cheeses, which are typically dessert cheese types, orginate in France and Southern Europe.

Many of these cheeses share similar characteristics:

  • Smear-ripened cheese, such as St. Paulin, Muenster, Limburger and Havarti
  • Blue veined-mould types, such as Roquefort, Stilton, Gorgonzola and Danablu
  • White, salted cheese types, such as Feta, Domiati and fresh types such as Queso Fresco


Whatever the end-product, the manufacture of speciality and European pressed cheese involves the following main process stages:

  • Milk treatment
  • Starter culture addition
  • Curd making
  • Cooling/brining
  • Finishing and storage

Process Diagram and Benefits


  • ZHM GROUP FLOW’s global experience as a supplier of processing technology and equipment for cheese products is a key factor in our ability to deliver cost-effective solutions tailored to individual customer requirements.
  • ZHM GROUP FLOW offers an enormous range of resources to the dairy industry in process engineering, equipment manufacturing, project management – for both large and small projects – and world-class development facilities
  • The APV CurdMaster is a very flexible cheese vat, which produces quality curd for both hard and soft cheese types. Its special design features maximised yield by minimising cases of casein fines and fat in whey.
  • ZHM GROUP ‘s Contifiller is an automatic draining and moulding machine, mainly designed for small semi-hard and semi-soft cheese types such as Saint Paulin, Port Salut, Blue Cheese, Feta and White cheese. The Contifiller is supplied in two versions: one with vibration strainer for efficient whey draining of curd for semi-hard cheese, and an alternative version provided with a draining belt which ensures gentle handling of curd of semi-soft cheese types. The Contifiller is designed for high flexibility. The filling head is easily mounted and demounted. This makes it possible to change from one cheese type/size to another in less than 10 minutes.
  • ZHM GROUP FLOW’s comprehensive range of cheese brining systems is designed to meet the requirements of both high and medium capacity production facilities. In addition, customised solutions can be provided for specific customer requirements.
  • Efficient sanitation of brine is essential to prevent post-contamination of cheeses. ZHM GROUP FLOW offers both thermal and microfiltration processes to control the presence of pathogenic bacteria.
  • Our range of product recovery and waste reduction processes are designed to reduce effluent costs and minimise loss of valuable product. These processes include:
    • Flotation plant for pre-treatment of dairy effluent
    • Special clean-in-place (CIP) software programs to minimise drainage and water usage
    • Membrane concentration systems for recovery of product/water mixes for recycling or sale
    • Optimisation of plant layout at the design stage – i.e. built in waste reduction
    • Automation software and instrumentation for accurate monitoring and control