Boermarke: Plant-based cheese is booming
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Boermarke: Plant-based cheese is booming

  • 14 June 2021
  • Door: Feike Klomp

Boermarke has guaranteed ‘dairy at its tastiest’ for more than 30 years. Both traditional milk products and high-quality plant-based alternatives find their way to the shelves in shops. Since the end of 2020, the Twente-based dairy producer has also been focusing on the production of plant-based alternatives to cheese.

The world is changing, also in terms of food consumption. Our eating patterns are changing. More consumers are switching to plant-based alternatives. In fact, " plant-based " is increasingly becoming the standard. Boermarke understands this message and is prepared to further improve its products. Due to the increasing demand for plant-based alternatives, Boermarke is building a completely new production line for plant-based cheeses. The aim is to produce more than 10 tonnes daily. Plant-based cheese that is indistinguishable from regular cheese in terms of taste, texture, colour and aroma. Incidentally, Boermarke is no stranger to plant-based products. For five years now, the dairy producer from Enschede has been building up a reputation with plant-based fresh and ice-cream products based on coconut, oats, soya and almonds for a variety of customers and brands. 

Switching and fine-tuning

Good preparation is half the work. The team did not rush into launching this plant-based alternative for cheese on the market, explains product and process technologist Vera Weller enthusiastically: "I have been involved in the development process from day one. It's cool to build something as big as this from scratch." To achieve this goal, cooperation, also with reliable partners, is crucial, they now know at Boermarke: "Absolutely. That's why we soon turned to our 'neighbour' Sismatec in Almelo. A partner with whom you can easily communicate and fine-tune," Vera emphasises. The product and process technologist is part of Boermarke's R&D (research and development) department. Every day she works with her colleagues on optimising the production and cleaning processes of the existing products. She also works on product development projects of dairy and vegan products. 

Volume

Reynier Varvik, director/owner of Boermarke says the following about the development process of the plant-based alternatives for cheese: "The aim is to develop and manifest ourselves further in this area. Quality comes first. In order to achieve that, you need an enthusiastic team and a partner with whom you can achieve that. The contact with Sismatec was established some 15 years ago. Sismatec is also the party of choice for special products. Moreover, our companies are located close to each other. And that just works out well in practice. After a brief radio silence, we came into contact again last year for the plant-based cheese products. The great thing about Sismatec is that it can supply machines that can handle a large volume. A win-win situation."

Fast communication

Sismatec delivered a CCM (Cooker Cooler Mixer) with a capacity of 800 litres, and later also a block/slice slicer for cheese, the TREIF CASAN 200. Vera: "To get to know the equipment and to further develop the product, we first worked with a smaller CCM (110 litres) at the end of 2020. This gave us the chance to prepare ourselves well for our goal: to produce 10 tonnes a day. After this start-up we took the next step to the large machine to cook the cheese. This has been realised now. We will produce the cheese from cubes, slices and grated to larger blocks for the catering industry. In time, we also want to bring different variants onto the market. That makes the product development here so much fun. The cooperation with Sismatec and their team certainly contribute to this. The communication here in Twente is very fast, we know each other. Questions are answered quickly. And if technical support is needed on site, we receive the right support immediately."

Continuo to build

Reynier: "A quarter of our company is specially equipped for plant-based alternatives. That is also a must. We produce vegan products separately from the other products in a separate room. The future is looking bright. The basis has been set. Now we are going to continue to build the production line. From January 2022, we will supply our new product to 10,000 supermarkets in the Netherlands and abroad. We may also start producing this product for two major brands. A development we are proud of. 

Jack-of-all-trades
Since 1963 Sismatec has been selling machines in the food industry, processing machines and machines for dosing, weighing and packaging products, among other things. The company's many packaging technologies can be found in the fruit & vegetable, game & poultry, bread & pastry, fish & meat, convenience, pharmaceutical, dairy & cheese and also in the vegetarian segment.

www.boermarke.eu
www.sismatec.nl

Photos: ©JTDproducties

Source: Vakblad Voedingsindustrie 2021