‘One factor that helped turn this challenging project into a tremendous success was the solid collaboration with Gpi’ says Wouter van Durme – Puratos
28 stainless steel chocolate tanks for sustainable Belcolade chocolate production
Puratos chocolate factory: ‘Our new production site’s operations are now entirely CO₂-neutral’
Chocolate manufacturer Puratos, parent company of Belcolade, is keen to be able to continue meeting the rising demand for sustainably produced, authentic Belgian chocolate. Which is why the company invested in a future-proof new production site. Gpi De Gouwe received a request for a series of stainless steel buffer and storage tanks for this ambitious project.
Puratos set itself the goal of completing the initial phase of its new-build project within two and a half years. This entailed some tight deadlines having to be met from the moment the first spade was thrust into the ground to the commencement of operations in the new factory in 2023. The 28 stainless buffer and storage tanks, varying in size from 6.6m3 to 47m3, formed an essential aspect of the project. Supplied by Gpi De Gouwe, these stainless steel tanks are essential for storing chocolate raw materials and liquid chocolate.
‘High-quality tanks manufactured with great skill at a competitive price’
Wouter van Durme – Project Manager – Puratos
Why choose Gpi?
Producing a superior quality of chocolate requires specific, top-quality processing equipment. Which was one of the considerations that prompted Puratos to get in touch with Gpi De Gouwe. The company had had some positive experiences in the past and Gpi was in a position to satisfy all the stringent requirements that the food industry sets for stainless steel tanks, from high-quality stainless steel to the documentation. Wouter van Durme, Project Manager at Puratos explains why they went for Gpi: ‘Gpi De Gouwe not only provides quality at a competitive price but also stands out when it comes to producing high-quality stainless steel tanks. We had full confidence that Gpi would not disappoint in that regard.’
Tanks for efficient chocolate processing
Gpi put in and installed the buffer and storage tanks across three different departments within the factory. The tanks are accurately heated by means of a half-pipe to maintain the desired temperatures. ‘The viscosity of chocolate ultimately determines its final use. A different viscosity is needed for applying a layer of chocolate to a cake than for creating chocolate figures’, explains Wouter. Once the production process is complete, Belcolade chocolate is turned into so-called drops, blocks or granules that Puratos’s professional customers (including bakers, pastry chefs, chocolatiers and patissiers) use to make their finished products.
‘One factor that helped turn this challenging project into a tremendous success was the solid collaboration with Gpi’
Success through cooperation
28 stainless steel tanks were supplied to the new chocolate factory in Erembodegem, Belgium, in a phased approach. Wouter: ‘The entire project was a huge, complex challenge, but the chocolate was of the highest quality right from the very first day of being operational.’ His assessment of the collaboration is positive: ‘Looking back on it, the cooperation with Gpi was great. The direct lines of communication between both parties definitely helped in that respect.’
The first phase is complete and the new factory has been commissioned. Wouter: ‘Our new production site’s operations are now entirely CO2-neutral, meaning we don’t have to resort to using fossil fuels. We have a future-proof factory and in due course will be able to double our production capacity. What’s more, the new factory is sufficiently flexible to make switching during the various processes straightforward, making it easier for us to fulfil our customers’ wishes.’
Furthermore, Puratos is not only dedicated to making its own production facilities sustainable. The company has also developed a Cocoa Trace programme. This programme rewards cocoa growers with a higher price for their premium cocoa beans. The cocoa farmers also get an extra bonus for every kilo of Cocoa Trace chocolate sold. This initiative is going a long way towards ensuring both fair remuneration for the growers and exceptional quality for Belcolade chocolate.
Belgian chocolate’s legacy: Puratos & Belcolade
Puratos is an international food business focused on the production of baking mixtures, chocolate, fillings and other ingredients used for the purposes of making superior bakery and patisserie products. Belcolade is the brand name for premium chocolate products for professional use. Belcolade chocolate distinguishes itself through not only its distinctive flavour but also its excellent texture and melting properties, which are important for the creation of high-quality chocolate products. Hence Belcolade chocolate is safeguarding the legacy of authentic Belgian chocolate.
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