New machinery worth Rs. 1 crore will be commissioned at the Puttur factory on Saturday
The chocolate factory of Central Arecanut and Cocoa Marketing and Processing Cooperative Ltd. (CAMPCO), at Puttur, is all set to increase the production of choco chips from the present 15 tonnes a month to 70 tonnes.
Choco chips, which are also known as choco buttons, are the minute version of the regular pure or compound chocolate, and are extensively used in the biscuit and ice-cream industries. Pure chocolate contains cocoa butter while compound chocolate contains vegetable fat.
If one wants to visualise how choco chips or buttons look like, they can be likened to the drops of a burning candle.
Managing Director of CAMPCO A.S. Bhat told The Hindu that new machinery worth Rs. 1 crore, installed to increase the production of choco chips, would be commissioned on Saturday.
He said that the machinery, imported from the U.K., could produce four varieties of choco chips namely,pure chocolate with milk, chocolate without milk, and chips of compound chocolate with milk and without milk.
“So far the factory had an indigenous machine for producing choco chips from cocoa butter.
It did not have the option to produce chips from vegetable fat. Its maximum production capacity was 15 tonnes a month. It could produce choco buttons weighing 0.2 gm.
The new machine can produce buttons weighing between 0.2 gm and 0.5 gm,” he said.
Mr. Bhat said that according to an estimate, the annual requirement of choco chips in the country was 3,000 tones. Only 30 per cent of the requirement was being produced in the country and the rest was being imported.
TheManaging Director said that the Puttur factory produced 11,500 tonnes of finished and semi-finished cocoa products in 2009-10.
The annual production capacity of the factory had been increased from 8,800 tonnes to 17,500 tones last year by installing new machinery.
The chocolate factory, commissioned on September 1, 1986, has completed 24 years.
Procurement price up
Mr. Bhat said that CAMPCO had increased the procurement price of wet cocoa beans to Rs. 48 a kg a week ago.
This was the highest price the company was paying for wet cocoa beans since its inception.