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Cargill to Open $21M Chocolate R&D Center, Pilot Plant

The new “House of Chocolate” complex will enable the firm’s chocolate R&D engineers to work more closely with customers.

Powder Bulk Solids Staff

September 21, 2020

2 Min Read
Image courtesy of Pixabay

American agribusiness Cargill revealed plans Monday for a new “House of Chocolate” complex that will be constructed next to its existing chocolate production plant in Mouscron, Belgium. The $21 million facility will house a chocolate experience center, pilot plant, sensory lab and creative workspace for its European R&D team of chocolate engineers.

“Innovation stands at the forefront of our House of Chocolate, as we bring together all of our expertise and resources,” Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate President Harold Poelma said in a company release. “It will allow us to collaborate with at every step of their product development journey, transforming ideas into reality using a streamlined approach to facilitate innovation and deliver greater efficiency and speed to market.”

The facility’s chocolate experience center provides customers with a site to conceive ideas for new products, learn more about chocolate through training sessions, and work with the company’s gourmet chocolate chefs. Cargill’s pilot plant will enable chocolate manufacturers to conduct tests of concepts with small-scale production runs. An in-house sensory lab will examine the taste, appearance, texture and other qualities of products under development.

“It’s fitting we make this investment in Belgium, given the unique place it holds in the chocolate world,” Inge Demeyere, managing director for Cargill Chocolate Europe, said in a statement. “Our House of Chocolate builds on that rich tradition, offering customers a unique venue to discover all that’s possible with our state-of-the-art capabilities and our broad range of brands, including Cargill, Veliche Gourmet, and Smet.”

Over 40 chocolate engineers, including research and development scientists, sensory experts, and technical service specialists, will staff the “House of Chocolate” in Mouscron. The company said the facility will become a hub for all of its chocolate, coating, and filling activities.

Work at the site is currently underway. Cargill expects the facility’s pilot lab to open next fall and the chocolate experience center and sensory lab to become operational in early 2022.

About the Author(s)

Powder Bulk Solids Staff

Established in 1983, Powder & Bulk Solids (PBS) serves industries that process, handle, and package dry particulate matter, including the food, chemical, and pharmaceutical markets.

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