NIGERIA – German food ingredients solutions provider Mühlenchemie GmbH has opened its first technology center in Africa.

The specialist for flour improvement and fortification has opened a baking laboratory in Lagos, Nigeria’s industrial heartland.

The new facility in Lagos is the first technology center on the continent of Africa by the company.

Having development capabilities on the spot will enable the firm to meet local millers’ needs more rapidly and efficiently, according to the company.

The core element of the facility is a trial bakery modeled on Mühlenchemie’s Central Technology Center in Germany.

“Thanks to a combination of our comprehensive production capacity in Germany and local development know-how we will, in future, be able to supply the Nigerian milling industry with customized systems faster than before,” says Lennart Kutschinski, Managing Director of Mühlenchemie, at the opening of the Technology Center.

Developers at the new facility can customize systems for improving, standardizing and fortifying flour and tailor them to local conditions.

Mühlenchemie planned and built the facility in cooperation with Vitachem Nigeria Ltd., which has been its business partner in Nigeria for many years.

The new manager is Mr. Emenike Okoye, who has more than 20 years of experience in quality assurance in the Nigerian milling industry.

55 guests from the Nigerian milling industry attended the opening of the Technology Center.

“In Africa’s most densely populated country, the milling industry faces a huge challenge. Increasing numbers of people need good quality food at reasonable prices.

Due to the volatility of the markets for raw materials, the manufacturers of flours face an ever more demanding task. Because markets across the globe are merging, varying qualities of grain need to be processed in ever shorter cycles,” Kutschinski told FoodIngredientsFirst.

“The Nigerian millers are already familiar with Tom Runge, the area sales manager, and his presence at the new facility in the country puts us in closer contact with our customers.

Together we will be working to produce applications that ensure consistently high standards for flour and provide a more rapid response to emerging trends,” adds Kutschinski.

The company has invested several million Euros in recent years to expand its research and production capacities around the World, to transfer its know-how to customers in their own markets.

Technology centres in Mexico, Singapore, India, China, Russia and Turkey support millers in those markets, on top of its Central Technology Center in Ahrensburg near Hamburg in Germany.