Bühler flavour creation centre fully operational and combining with chocolate application facilities

The Bühler Swiss-based equipment and industry solutions group has confirmed its recently enhanced Flavour Creation Centre, which forms a key part of its expanded innovation hub at Uzwil, is now operating at full capacity, reports Neill Barston.

As the business explained, the facility (below) combines its expertise in roasting and grinding cocoa and coffee beans and processing malt and nuts to create innovative flavours and future-fit products.

Furthermore, with advanced infrastructure and an integrated network of Application & Training Centres, customers can develop new recipes and test new processes under one roof.

Confectionery Production has previously reported on the company’s development of its CUBIC innovation hub, which opened its doors shortly before the pandemic in 2019 which offers emerging businesses a major platform for developing their product ideas, which has now been augmented further with additional facilities at the company’s Uzwil headquarters in Switzerland.

As the business added, its flavour Creation Centre has previously focused on coffee since 2013, expanded into cocoa and nuts since 2022, has been upgraded and refurbished. It forms a central part of combining as a total of four Application & Training Centres (ATCs), which also include dedicated facilities for protein development, energy recovery, and food creation. Collectively, they are focused on delivering a greater level of sustainability in food production.

Significantly, the company’s collaboration with other major facilities at its headquarters is continuing to prove of major value in identifying additional finished product opportunities. This includes combining with its Chocolate Application Centre to produce chocolate mass from cocoa, and spreads from nut pastes. It works with the Food Creation Centre team to produce cereal bars and chocolate bars.

In addition, at the Energy Recovery Centre cocoa shells are used to produce energy. Training and education is another highlight of the application centre as up to October 2023 more than 4,000 customers (be it beginners or experienced professionals) had participated in a wide range of training courses about raw materials, setup of equipment, technologies, and services.

“The Flavour Creation Centre is the perfect place to process cocoa beans to cocoa mass, cocoa powder, and butter; to roast coffee to perfect flavour; and to process nuts to pastes,” says Skeljzen Nesimi, Head of Product Management and MarCom, Chocolate and Coffee at Bühler (below).

The processing, roasting, and grinding of cocoa beans, nuts, and coffee is now combined in one location to create innovative flavors and high-quality products. The technological solutions available for cocoa include cleaning, de-shelling, alkalizing, and roasting (batch and continuous roasting), and result in high-quality cocoa mass, cocoa butter, and cocoa powder.

Furthermore, as the company enthused, product innovation possibilities have increased even more with its extended facilities. Its different roasting technologies can be applied to assess the influences on flavour, taste, and physical characteristics.

“Customers can try new flavour, roasting, or new grinding profiles for their products,” says Skeljzen Nesimi. With a cutting-edge infrastructure available, customers can develop new recipes, try new processes, test different machine settings and configurations, compare different technologies, and analyse the influence of raw materials on finished products.

“We also help our customers in buying processes, so that they can easily find out which type of solution can deliver defined results considering their techniques and processes, and match their flavor expectations and product requirements,” adds Nesimi. “Sustainability and quality are key issues for them; for instance, they want to know whether they can roast a product at a lower temperature or shorter time and improve efficiency, but still get the same quality. We support their buying decision.”

More recently, start-ups and some established producers are rethinking conventional products and experimenting with alternative raw materials, such as barley, carob, oats, to create bean-free chocolate and coffee. Bühler supports these companies not only in finding the right process and equipment, but also in developing recipes. “By combining our know-how and infrastructure with the scientific knowledge of our academia partners, we can support our customers in achieving tangible results, accelerating changes, and designing the future of food,” says Skeljzen Nesimi, of the key combined potential across its extended facilities in Switzerland.





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