The lucrative and growing bean-to-bar chocolate industry is attracting entrepreneurs and farming communities in Trinidad and Tobago and there is a great demand for training in chocolate making, by foreign experts as well as the internationally recognized experts at the Cocoa Research Centre on the UWI, St Augustine Campus.
The chocolate entrepreneurs have since discovered that the acquisition of equipment to produce the chocolate has prohibitive costs, approaching $1,000,000 to equip a basic factory. Further to this, some of the equipment was not designed for commercial chocolate making, and are little more than kitchen appliances. Other pieces of equipment were made for much larger processors and scaling down is not an option. The Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering (DMME) through its project unit, the Mechanical and Manufacturing Enterprise Research Centre (MMERC), is therefore seeking to design equipment to meet the needs of the regional industry in a more systematic manner. There are a number of equipment prototypes already being designed within the department. These are currently at various stages of development.
This project seeks to meet the need for proper chocolate making equipment aimed at the bean-to-bar chocolate industry by executing four (4) modules including:
i) A Model Processing Plant;
ii) Design of New Generation of Chocolate Making Equipment;
ii) A Comprehensive Feasibility Study;
iv) Dissemination Initiatives.
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