The cocoa and chocolate business of Minneapolis-based food giant Cargill has officially marked the completion of upgrades to its cocoa processing facility in Wormer, The Netherlands, following an $82 million improvement program.
The new Center of Expertise for cocoa and increased cocoa powder production capacity at the Wormer plant should lead the plant to achieve greater product innovation and increased levels of service, says the company. The upgrade was undertaken in response to customer demand for high quality cocoa powders that are tailor-made to individual customer specifications, Cargill says. The Wormer plant processes cocoa liquor into cocoa butter and powder, offering more than 100 types of cocoa powder under the Gerkens brand.
Cargill says the center brings together its cocoa quality, technology and innovation expertise in a single location. The center includes an ISO 17025 accredited quality control laboratory, pilot plant for product and process development, and an expanded taste panel to support sensory evaluation for cocoa liquor and powder products.
Investment in the facility includes a new, fully automated cocoa powder warehouse and distribution center in the port of Amsterdam. Better transport and capacity planning will reduce CO2emissions by 10 percent, the company says.