Expanding upon its network of innovation centers in North America, Barry Callebaut—the world’s leading manufacturer of high-quality cocoa and chocolate products—announced the opening of a special research and development laboratory and pilot plant at its cocoa products factory in Eddystone, Pa.
The pilot plant—a scaled-down cocoa products factory that mimics the production processes that occur on actual full-scale product lines in the factory—will enable Barry Callebaut to better serve its industrial customers in the Americas region. Specifically, the company will be able to produce cocoa liquor, cocoa powder and cocoa butter from any cocoa bean blend in small batches, as well as test new products and raw ingredients, prior to producing them on a mass scale.
Reinventing Cocoa and Chocolate: Snapshot of Barry Callebaut’s R&D Innovation Centers in the Americas
St. Hyacinthe, Quebec
“With this new applications laboratory and pilot plant, we will be able to create truly unique cocoa products customized specifically to meet our food manufacturing customers’ needs in terms of color, flavor and performance attributes,” said Hans Vriens, chief innovation officer for Barry Callebaut.
Prior to the opening of the pilot plant in Eddystone, Barry Callebaut’s pilot-scale R&D work in the area of cocoa could only be done in the company’s cocoa processing facility in Louviers, France. “With the opening of this pilot facility, we can now perform R&D services closer to our North American customers and offer better and faster services,” said Mark Adriaenssens, Barry Callebaut’s R&D Director for the Americas region.
State-of-the-Art Cocoa Processing Equipment
The new pilot plant features a variety of innovative pilot-scale equipment, including:
- a winnower, which dehulls and winnows cocoa beans
- nib and cake alkalizer, which neutralizes acidic components in the cocoa
- nib roaster, which roasts the bits of the cocoa beans that have been separated from their hulls
- cocoa liquor grinding line, which grinds the roasted cocoa nibs into a fine paste
- cocoa press, which separates the cocoa paste into liquid cocoa butter and solid cocoa cakes
- cocoa powder mill, which processes the solid cocoa into a powder
The applications lab also features an automatic cutter, giving Barry Callebaut’s R&D team new production capabilities for developing syrups, sauces, fillings, and ice cream-based applications.
In addition to the new Eddystone laboratory and pilot plant dedicated to innovation in the area of cocoa, Barry Callebaut operates similar facilities focused on the development of chocolate products and applications in Pennsauken, N.J.; St. Hyacinthe, Quebec; Monterrey, Mexico; and Ilhéus, Brazil.
“With our expanded network of research and development facilities in the Americas region, our customers can now more than ever customize their products from the bean to the bar, giving them a distinct advantage over their competitors,” said Adriaenssens.
About Barry Callebaut
With annual sales of about CHF 5.2 billion / EUR 3.6 billion / USD 4.9 billion for fiscal year 2009/10, Zurich-based Barry Callebaut is the world’s leading manufacturer of high-quality cocoa and chocolate—from the cocoa bean to the finest finished product. Barry Callebaut is present in 26 countries, operates more than 40 production facilities and employs about 7,500 people. The company serves the entire food industry, from food manufacturers to professional users of chocolate (such as chocolatiers, pastry chefs or bakers), to global retailers. Barry Callebaut is the global leader in cocoa and chocolate innovations and provides a comprehensive range of services in the fields of product development, processing, training and marketing. The company is actively engaged in initiatives and projects that contribute to a more sustainable cocoa supply chain.