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PRONATEC commissions advanced cocoa processing plant

23 September 2022

PRONATEC AG, a Swiss supplier of organic food raw materials and of sustainable, 100% organic chocolate, has commissioned one of Europe’s most advanced cocoa processing plants in Beringen. The plant officially opened in September. 

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The decision to transfer the processing of its organic cocoa beans from external contract processors abroad to Switzerland paved the way for the groundbreaking project, which was employed equipment from the Bühler Group as a system supplier.  

The Bühler cocoa processing plant, which was designed in collaboration with the PRONATEC team, is said to be one of the most advanced systems installed worldwide. 

"The efficiency of the plant at the Swiss site, as well as the design for 100% organic certification, was a priority for PRONATEC from the very beginning," explained Joachim Essig, head of sales Cocoa & Malt at Bühler. "Fully integrated automation, small-scale batch production, batch separation, and full traceability were already important topics in the initial discussions, as were gentle handling of the raw materials, food safety, and the highest hygiene standards."?  

The processes are continuously monitored in the control room and the cocoa products produced are also continuously tested for quality in the company's own laboratory. "On the one hand, this real-time controlling ensures the taste quality of products but it also has an impact on the energy efficiency of the plant," said Stefan Linder, project director at Bühler. 

David Yersin, CEO and owner of PRONATEC takes up the story:  "We are the first company in Switzerland to produce all three organic cocoa semi-finished products – cocoa mass, butter, and powder. It is very important that we can maintain proven flavour profiles that we have developed over the years. At the same time, the new roaster also gives us the opportunity to develop new products. The fact that we were able to conduct tests in advance at Bühler’s Application and Training Center was a great help in our decision-making process."   

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