What is chocolate, without a little creativity?

As important as all the steps that go into chocolate making are, product innovation and consumer input are equally valuable.

Barry Callebaut, based in Zurich, Switzerland, may have 52 factories worldwide, but their focus on product design and consumer feedback also manifests itself in 12 Application Centers. Now, a new Application Center in Asia Pacific is debuting adjacent to one of their largest chocolate factories in the region.

Located in Pasir Gudang (in the state of Johor, Malaysia), the facility will include state-of-the-art equipment, a demo kitchen, a small-scale production line, and additional workspace areas. Cocoa ingredients such as chocolate liquor, butter, and powder are all in close proximity to the center.

The availability of cocoa ingredients as well as the sensory experts at the nearby factory will facilitate the frequent testing and tasting required in the creation of new products, applications and processes.

The $200,000 facility was designed for the purpose of developing individual product solutions and innovations together with customers in response to changing consumer tastes.

“With rising incomes in Asia Pacific, consumer taste is evolving; they are asking for more sophisticated flavors and colors. Cocoa, like no other ingredient, can give them this,” says Peter Boone, chief innovation and quality officer of the Barry Callebaut Group. “In our new Cocoa Application Center in Pasir Gudang, we will work closely with our industrial customers to co-create the consumer products of tomorrow: unique products that taste delicious, look appealing and are easy to process.”

The facility will extend Barry Callebaut’s offering to industrial customers by providing prototype and concept development, product and process troubleshooting, and sensory evaluation. In addition, the center offers technical assistance and training for cocoa products as well as cocoa product and ingredient research.

The new Cocoa Application Center in Pasir Gudang can draw upon the expertise and resources of the Barry Callebaut Group’s strong global research and development capabilities and facilities of 18 Chocolate Academy centers, 12 Application Centers and 19 Pilot Plants. It will initially focus on beverage, bakery, confectionery and ice cream applications as well as the potential offered by cocoa ingredients in these products, and build its capabilities in color, flavor matching and enhancement.

In Asia Pacific, Barry Callebaut has a total of four Application Centers as well as nine chocolate and cocoa factories.

In addition to the new Cocoa Application Center in Pasir Gudang, Barry Callebaut also operates a Cocoa Research Center in Selborne Estate (in the state of Pahang, Malaysia) which focuses on research into inter-cropping, pest and disease management and soil management to promote increased productivity and biodiversity at the cocoa farm level.

Barry Callebaut Group focuses on producing fine chocolates, including chocolate fillings, decorations, and compounds. The Group runs more than 50 production facilities worldwide and employs a diverse and dedicated global workforce of over 9,300 people.