Sidel guides Niche Cocoa Industry move into aseptic beverage production

The aseptic line, one of the first installed in Ghana, will go towards supporting Niche Cocoa’s ventures into milk-based products

Niche Cocoa Industry, one of Ghana’s largest fully integrated cocoa processor, has installed its first-ever aseptic line through Sidel. The line marks a milestone for the company, as it makes its first venture into milk-based products in PET with the assistance of Sidel’s experience in aseptic production.

“We selected Sidel because of its leadership in aseptic beverage production and packaging design,” said Edmund A Poku, Niche Cocoa Industry’s CEO. “Our expectations were fully satisfied. Aseptic liquid dairy products (LDPs) are complex to produce, and this was a new area for us. Sidel’s technical experts and dedicated local sales and project management teams partnered with us: sharing knowledge and competencies, and providing guidance every step of the way. As a result, we have successfully introduced Ghana’s first and only locally produced and aseptically bottled chocolate milk.”

Bassam Oussaifi, Sidel’s vice-president of sales for the Middle East & Africa, said: “We are delighted that this project is helping our customer move a further step towards its vision of becoming Africa’s leading producer of cocoa products.”

Having chosen PET for its 100% recyclability, affordability, food integrity, and lightweight properties, Niche Cocoa Industry opted for Sidel’s Predis aseptic dry preform sterilisation technology. Offering optimum food safety and product quality, Aseptic Combi Predis has been installed in over 200 solutions worldwide, further to a validation by the US FDA in 2017. In addition to ease of operation, Predis also reduces water usage and chemicals consumption. Since its launch, it has decontaminated more than 120 billion bottles globally.

Both parties have worked closely together to ensure the smooth delivery of a project that required Niche Cocoa Industry to utilise Sidel’s aseptic packaging technology to navigate many new challenges, being the first of its kind in Ghana. The line operates to a 99.6% efficiency and has resulted in a higher level of customer satisfaction, noting Sidel’s leadership and quest for perfection throughout the process, in addition to providing a platform for the company to take its product to market.

Aseptic PET solution

The 16,000 bottles per hour aseptic PET complete solution integrates Tetra Pak Processing Systems technologies and the Sidel Aseptic Combi Predis with dry preform and cap sterilisation systems, two units of Gebo OptiDry, a sleeve labeller, a VersaFilm Access shrink-wrapping system, and finally a stretch wrapper. Sidel also supplied its market-leading EIT (Efficiency Improvement Tool) data acquisition and plant intelligence system, widely used to support its beverage company customers in decreasing unplanned downtime, reducing waste and costs, and increasing factory output.

Fastest-growing cocoa producer

Niche Cocoa Industry, founded in 2011, manufactures high quality, semi-finished cocoa products for export, such as cocoa liquor, cocoa butter, cocoa cake, and cocoa powder. Based in Tema, near Ghana’s capital, it is one of the fastest-rising local cocoa processors in the country, with an installed processing capacity of 90,000 metric tons per year. Through its consumer products arm, Niche Confectionery Ghana, the business manufactures finished products for the local and export markets. These include chocolates, chocolate spreads, powdered drinking beverages and a ready-to-drink chocolate beverage. Ghana is the world’s second biggest cocoa producer and provider of one of the highest-quality cocoa beans in bulk.

Innovation and growth in the Africa market

Sidel has been serving the African market for many years, working closely to help its customers in beverage, food, home and personal care packaging achieve their business objectives. It contributes to the region’s economic development and sustainable responsible growth through innovations such as aseptic beverage production and other advanced packaging solutions that benefit customers and make the lowest possible environmental impact. Sidel continues to expand operations in Africa, with the opening of a new regional office in Nairobi, Kenya, to serve customers across East Africa last year.