The client company was founded in 2016. The founder has realized the potential to add value locally to the cocoa beans grown in Uganda. With some basic equipment, the cocoa beans are processed into cocoa powder and cocoa butter. They are currently sold informally, the cocoa powder for baking cakes, the cocoa butter to produce cosmetic products. There are eight employees.
- Provide training and setting up a process for cocoa alkalization
- Improve the solubility of the cocoa powder
- Establish mitigating actions to prevent the cocoa powder from caking.
The client expressed further his wish to prepare for a product certification from the Uganda National Bureau of Standards. This will open the door for him to operate as a formal business.
The theory of cocoa alkalization and the stabilization of the cocoa powder were covered. We selected the process of alkalizing the cocoa powder (vs. cocoa nibs or cocoa liquor) in order to preserve the naturalness of the cocoa butter. Following some “kitchen-trials”, we industrialized the process, improvising using existing equipment. We succeeded in producing a darker, more chocolatey cocoa powder, which has an improved solubility, without having to invest in additional machinery.
To prepare for a product certification, we drew up the process flow charts, defined product specifications, discussed GMPs & GHPs, written a quality control & monitoring plan, established the microbiological criteria, drafted first SOPs, control logs and a staff training matrix.