GHANA – Niche Cocoa Industry Ltd, the largest fully integrated cocoa processor in Ghana, has pioneered the country’s food industry by successfully installing its first-ever aseptic line, which enables the company to venture into milk-based products in PET.

The company got the assistance of Sidel’s long-standing expertise in aseptic production. Sidel is a manufacturing company providing equipment and services for packaging liquids such as water, carbonated and non-carbonated soft drinks, and sensitive beverages such as liquid dairy products.

“We selected Sidel because of its leadership in aseptic beverage production and packaging design,” said Edmund A. Poku, Niche Cocoa Industry Ltd’s Chief Executive Officer.

“Our expectations were fully satisfied. Aseptic Liquid Dairy Products (LDPs) are complex to produce, and this was a new area for us.”

He noted that Sidel’s technical experts and dedicated local sales and project management teams partnered with the company: sharing knowledge and competencies and providing guidance every step of the way.

As a result, Niche Cocoa has successfully introduced Ghana’s first and only locally produced and aseptically bottled chocolate milk.

Having chosen PET for its 100% recyclability, affordability, food integrity, and lightweight properties, Niche Cocoa Industry Ltd opted for Sidel’s Predis aseptic dry preform sterilization technology as it offers optimum food safety and product quality, Sidel pointed out.

Known for its ease of operation, Predis also reduces water usage and chemical consumption. Since its launch, it has successfully decontaminated more than 120 billion bottles globally.

Sidel, one of three industry groups of Tetra Laval, said its Aseptic Combi Predis has now been installed in over 200 solutions worldwide, making it a global leader in aseptic production, a position that was confirmed by its validation by the US FDA in 2017.

Based in Tema, near Ghana’s capital, Niche Cocoa Industry Ltd is the fastest-rising local cocoa processor in the country, with an installed processing capacity of 90,000 metric tons per year.

In 2022, the company unveiled plans to establish its first North American manufacturing facility, to be based in Franklin, Wis., a suburb of the greater Milwaukee metropolitan area.

The cocoa company was to lease an existing 44,000-square-foot building where they will hire 24 employees to process approximately 1,200 containers of Ghana-imported cocoa cake each year.

The cocoa cake would be turned into cocoa powder, finished chocolate, and cocoa liquor that then will be sold to other manufacturing facilities to be made into chocolate, ice cream, and baked foods. The company expected the facility to be fully operational by January 2023.

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