Olam Spices & Vegetable Ingredients has completed an expansion in size and capability of its spices processing facility in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. The 85,300-square-foot (26,000-square-meter) spice processing facility will enhance cleaning and storage processes for black pepper, and adds capabilities to process cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg products. The investment in new equipment and technologies, along with its Innovation & Quality (IQ) center in Fresno, Calif., allows Olam SVI to exceed prevailing international and U.S. regulations and the highest standards expected by its spice and ingredient customers.
Upgrades to the Vietnam facility include advanced technologies such as cryogenic milling using liquid nitrogen; a pepper cleaning line; a Plant HTST steam sterilization and pasteurization system; and new pepper milling lines. The Company has added climate control for balancing water activity in the processed products and expanded physical storage capabilities. New pepper, ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg grinding lines and equipment will more than double production capacity and output for those products.
The expansion augments the facility's existing separators, sifters and two steam sterilizers that clean the spices and reduce microbial contamination. Certified by British Retail Consortium (BRC) audit protocol, the plant completed successful inspection by the U.S. FDA in 2010. The facility is one of the largest in the world in its category and employs more than 400 people.
"Our regional presence in origins such as Vietnam for the past eight years allows us to take control of the commodity at the farm gate level and closely manage the product from post-harvest processing to storage and final delivery," said Olam SVI President Greg Estep. "Our customers can be confident the ingredients that make their products great are of the highest quality and sourced through our unparalleled processing and logistics capabilities."
Olam SVI's efforts to improve quality standards of spices produced in Vietnam includes farmer training to promote safe agricultural practices. Structured courses are offered through learning centers and extension providers, and model farms have been established.
"Our strong marketing presence in key destinations gives customers an advantage in the proprietary market information and responsive service we provide," said Deepak Shah, global product line head, pepper and tropical spice business at Olam SVI.
The IQ center opened earlier this year as the hub of excellence for safety and quality in Olam SVI's worldwide operations. Through their microbiology and chemistry laboratory work, scientists and quality assurance professionals at the IQ dictate corrective and proactive actions in quality programs at manufacturing plants in the U.S., Vietnam, India, Egypt, Peru and China.