To further strengthen innovation in the region the Barry Callebaut Group, the world’s leading manufacturer of high quality chocolate and cocoa products, today announced the opening of its first Cocoa Application Center in Asia Pacific. The center is equipped with state-of-the-art equipment, a demo kitchen, a small-scale production line and additional workspace areas and represents an investment of USD 200,000.

It extends Barry Callebaut’s offering to industrial customers by providing prototype and concept development, product and process troubleshooting and sensory evaluation. In addition, the center offers technical assistance and training for cocoa products as well as cocoa product and ingredient research. Located in Pasir Gudang (in the state of Johor, Malaysia), the center is adjacent to one of Barry Callebaut’s largest cocoa factories in Asia Pacific where cocoa ingredients (liquor, butter and powder) are easily available.

This proximity to cocoa ingredients, as well as the sensory experts at the factory, will facilitate the frequent testing and tasting required in the creation of new products, applications and processes. New Cocoa Application Center as platform to co-create the products of tomorrow Peter Boone, Chief Innovation & Quality Officer of the Barry Callebaut Group, said: “With rising incomes in Asia Pacific, consumer taste is evolving; they are asking for more sophisticated flavors and colors. Cocoa, like no other ingredient, can give them this. In our new Cocoa Application Center in Pasir Gudang, we will work closely with our industrial customers to co-create the consumer products of tomorrow: unique products that taste delicious, look appealing and are easy to process.”

Edmund Ee, Barry Callebaut’s President for Cocoa Asia Pacific, added: “Barry Callebaut has the longest experience in cocoa manufacturing, and its premium powder brand Bensdorp™ will celebrate its 175th anniversary this year. Building upon this strong European heritage, our new Cocoa Application Center in Asia Pacific reflects our strategic commitment to innovation and to creating value-added services for our customers. Our expertise in innovation, coupled with their market know-how, will enable our customers to differentiate their products and to drive future growth.”

Part of Barry Callebaut’s global R&D and innovation capabilities The new Cocoa Application Center in Pasir Gudang can draw upon the expertise and resources of the Barry Callebaut Group’s strong global research and development capabilities and facilities of 18 Chocolate Academy centers, 12 Application Centers and 19 Pilot Plants. It will initially focus on beverage, bakery, confectionery and ice cream applications as well as the potential 2/2 offered by cocoa ingredients in these products, and build its capabilities in color, flavor matching and enhancement.

In Asia Pacific, Barry Callebaut has a total of four Application Centers as well as nine chocolate and cocoa factories. In addition to the new Cocoa Application Center in Pasir Gudang, Barry Callebaut also operates a Cocoa Research Center in Selborne Estate (in the state of Pahang, Malaysia) which focuses on research into inter-cropping, pest and disease management and soil management to promote increased productivity and biodiversity at cocoa farm level.