Mühlenchemie GmbH & Co. KG has now opened its first technology center in Africa. In Lagos, Nigeria’s industrial heartland, the specialist for flour improvement and fortification now operates a baking laboratory. Having development capabilities on the spot will enable the firm to meet local millers’ needs more rapidly and efficiently.
55 guests from the Nigerian milling industry went along to gain a personal impression of the technical equipment at the Technology Center and attend the official opening ceremony. The core element of the facility is a trial bakery modelled on Mühlenchemie’s central Technology Center in Germany. Developers at the new facility can customize systems for improving, standardizing and fortifying flour and tailor them to local conditions. The facility was planned and built in close cooperation with Vitachem Nigeria Ltd., which has been a business partner of Mühlenchemie for many years. The new manager is Mr Emenike Okoye, who has more than 20 years of experience of quality assurance in the Nigerian milling industry.
“Thanks to a combination of our comprehensive production capacity in Germany and local development know-how we will, in future, be able to supply the Nigerian milling industry with customized systems faster than before,” said Lennart Kutschinski, managing director of Mühlenchemie, at the opening of the Technology Center.
In Africa’s most densely populated country the milling industry faces a huge challenge. Increasing numbers of people need good quality food at reasonable prices. Due to the volatility of the markets for raw materials, the manufacturers of flours face an ever more demanding task. Because markets across the globe are merging, varying qualities of grain need to be processed in ever shorter cycles. “The Nigerian millers are already familiar with Tom Runge, the area sales manager, and his presence at the new facility in the country puts us in closer contact with our customers. Together we will be working to produce applications that ensure consistently high standards for flour and provide a more rapid response to emerging trends,” adds Kutschinski.
Mühlenchemie is the global market leader in the field of flour standardization, improvement and fortification. The company standardizes over 100 million tonnes of wheat a year. These are 20 percent of the global market. Mühlenchemie exports its products to over 120 countries and maintains close relations with more than 2,000 mills around the globe. At the central Technology Center in Ahrensburg near Hamburg, a team of 100 research scientists and applications technologists works on developing exactly the systems that the global milling industry requires. In order to transfer this know-how to customers in their own markets, Mühlenchemie has invested several million euros in recent years to expand its research and production capacity both at home and abroad. Today teams of experts in Mexico, Singapore, India, China, Russia and Turkey support mills on the spot and offer individual solutions to ensure optimum flour quality. The new facility in Lagos adds the first Technology Center on the continent of Africa to this list.