America's dairy producers, through their checkoff program, have sponsored research that changes the way cottage cheese can be made to allow for a more consistent, high-quality end product.

The research project, a partnership between Cabot Creamery, CPS Scherping, the Minnesota-SouthDakotaDairyResearchCenter and Dairy Management Inc. (DMI), adapted a horizontal cheesemaking vat typically used to manufacture cheddar, mozzarella and other closed-vat cheeses to the production of cottage cheese.

“This new technology means good things for the quality of cottage cheese,” said Greg Miller, senior vice president of nutrition and product innovation for DMI. Traditionally, cottage cheese has been made in open vats in a process controlled by human operators. The horizontal vat system encloses and automates the entire effort.

“By automating the entire process, we reduce the risk of human error, fluctuations in temperature and exposure to other elements in the atmosphere,” Miller said. “The new process also advances food safety measures, as it automatically cleans equipment between batches.

“Healthy eating is driving interest in cottage cheese and dairy products in general right now,” says Lloyd Metzger, assistant professor in the Department of Food Science and Nutrition at the University of Minnesota, who helped develop and test the closed-vat system in a pilot program sponsored by DMI. “Cottage cheese is where yogurt was years ago, with the same opportunity to adjust its flavor profile and fit consumer desires.”

For more information about how checkoff investments in product and technology research provide long-term value to the industry, visit

Dairy Management Inc.