Niche Cocoa Industry, Ghana’s largest fully integrated cocoa processor, has successfully installed its first-ever aseptic line through Sidel. The line marks a significant milestone for the company, as it makes its first venture into milk-based products in PET with the assistance of Sidel’s long-standing expertise in aseptic production.
“We selected Sidel because of its leadership in aseptic beverage production and packaging design,” said Edmund A. Poku, Niche Cocoa Industry’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. Sidel’s technical experts and dedicated local sales and project management teams partnered with us: sharing knowledge and competencies, and providing guidance every step of the way. As a result, we have successfully introduced Ghana’s first and only locally produced and aseptically bottled chocolate milk.”
Bassam Oussaifi, vice president- Sales (Middle East & Africa), Sidel, said, “We are delighted that this project is helping our customer move a further step towards its vision of becoming Africa’s leading producer of cocoa products.”
Having chosen PET for its 100% recyclability, affordability, food integrity, and lightweight properties, Niche Cocoa Industry opted for Sidel’s Predis aseptic dry preform sterilization technology. Offering optimum food safety and product quality, Aseptic Combi Predis has now been installed in over 200 solutions worldwide. It has made Sidel a global leader in aseptic production, a position that was confirmed by its validation by the US FDA in 2017. Known for its ease of operation, Predis also reduces water usage and chemicals consumption. Since its launch, it has successfully decontaminated more than 120 billion bottles globally.
Both parties have worked closely together to ensure the smooth delivery of a project that required the Niche Cocoa Industry to utilize Sidel’s vast experience in aseptic packaging to navigate many new challenges, because of it being the first of its kind in Ghana. The line operates to a 99.6% efficiency and has resulted in a high level of customer satisfaction, noting Sidel’s leadership and quest for perfection throughout the process, in addition to providing a platform for the company to take its product to market.
Aseptic PET solution
The 16,000 bottles per hour aseptic PET complete solution integrates Tetra Pak Processing Systems technologies and the Sidel Aseptic Combi Predis with dry preform and cap sterilization systems, two units of Gebo OptiDry, a sleeve labeller, a VersaFilm Access shrink-wrapping system, and finally a stretch wrapper. Sidel also supplied its market-leading EIT (Efficiency Improvement Tool) data acquisition and plant intelligence system, widely used to support its beverage company customers in decreasing unplanned downtime, reducing waste and costs, and increasing factory output.
Fastest-growing cocoa producer
Niche Cocoa Industry, founded in 2011, manufactures high-quality, semi-finished cocoa products for export, such as cocoa liquor, cocoa butter, cocoa cake, and cocoa powder. Based in Tema, near Ghana’s capital, it is the fastest-rising local cocoa processor in the country, with an installed processing capacity of 90,000 metric tons per year. Through its consumer products arm, Niche Confectionery Ghana, the business manufactures high-quality finished products for the local and export markets. These include chocolates, chocolate spreads, powdered drinking beverages and a ready-to-drink chocolate beverage. Ghana is the world’s second-biggest cocoa producer and provider of the highest-quality cocoa beans in bulk.
Innovation and growth in the Africa market
Sidel has been serving the African market for many years, working closely to help its customers in beverage, food, home and personal care packaging achieve their business objectives. It contributes to the region’s economic development and sustainable responsible growth through innovations such as aseptic beverage production and other advanced packaging solutions that benefit customers and make the lowest possible environmental impact. Sidel continues to expand operations in Africa, with the opening of a new regional office in Nairobi, Kenya, to serve customers across East Africa last year.