Unique setup, maximum flexibility and reliable scalability

The test center is available for our customers and research institutions for product development and testing. It offers the unique possibility to simulate the entire manufacturing process from the cocoa bean to the chocolate mass in one location.

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During the development of the equipment for the test center, our engineers highly focussed on maximum flexibility of the machines and scalability of the results achieved during the trials in the test center with the expected results with our industrial machines. Thus, the continous bean roaster type FRV can be operated either as a fresh air roaster or with recirculating air. Recent trials have prooven that the results performed in the test center correspond with the large industrial version of the roaster.

Furthermore, the pre-refiner and the five-roll refiner are equipped with individually driven rolls to test various gear ratios. With a diameter of 400 mm, the diameters of the rolls correspond to those of our industrial machines in order to ensure the best possible comparability - only the length varies. Additionally, the pilot plant's five-roll refiner HFS 35 can be operated with both 400 mm and 500 mm top rollers in order to be able to reproduce the behavior of our high-performance rolling mill HFS 180S.

The pilot plant offers continuous roasting technologies for cocoa beans with either fresh air roasting or recirculating air, batch roasting techniques for cocoa nib roasting, equipment for winnowing, grinding as well as pressing of cocoa mass. Also a cocoa nib alkalizing unit is available.

The chocolate mass section provides a double shaft mixer with subsequent pre-refiner, five-roll refiner, a vertical single-shaft conche and a horizontal double-shaft conche. Like industrial chocolate lines, all machines are connected by troughed or steel belt conveyors to be able to run trials under realistic production conditions. The chocolate mass section is completed by the versatile all-in-one refiner / conche from MacIntyre Chocolate Systems Ltd.

For grains, seeds and malt, we can perform trials in a batch drum roaster and a continuous drum roaster for gentle and uniform roasting.