The Right Fit: Sourcing Project Finds Solutions for Client Fortification Needs

bags of flour

The Right Fit: Sourcing Project Finds Solutions for Client Fortification Needs

 

Equatorial Nuts is a nut and fortified blended flour company based in Murang’a, Kenya. To meet strict fortification standards, staff were hand measuring the precise amount of vitamins and minerals, and adding it to their products for each batch. Although a permitted method of fortification, adding nutrients by hand is extremely time consuming and more prone to errors. Looking to improve their system and automate this flour fortification process, Equatorial Nuts reached out to TechnoServe, USAID and Partners in Food Solutions for guidance.

Carolina Mertzger, a process engineer in the Industrialized Milling Solutions Unit at Bühler, joined the project team to help Equatorial Nuts explore their automated fortification options. “Africa is advancing at a fast-pace, but they’re still behind in some ways. I joined this project because I wanted to share my knowledge in nutrition and fortification and give back to a continent that I am truly inspired by,” said Carolina. “I am originally from Venezuela and Partners in Food Solutions allows me to continue to develop intercultural relationships and connect with people from all over the world.”

Carolina, along with two other PFS volunteers, spent several months learning about Equatorial Nuts’ process, how it was being used, what physical space was available at their facility, and what they were looking to achieve capacity wise with an automated system. Once the team had an understanding of the client’s needs, they started to research options. “The other volunteers and I consulted with our colleagues at our respective companies and we also researched what other US companies were doing and the equipment they were sourcing. One of our biggest challenges was finding a micro dosing system that would fit in the existing system and space available at the client’s facility. After several more months of research and discussions with the project team, we came up with several recommendations that we shared with the client.”

Based on volunteer recommendations, Equatorial Nuts is currently exploring local partners to source the appropriate technology. Once the new, automatic process is in place, Equatorial Nuts plans to increase production and improve the overall quality of their fortified products.

General Mills
General Mills, the founding member of Partners in Food Solutions, is one of the world’s leading food companies, operating in more than 100 countries and headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Cargill
Cargill is an international producer and marketer of food, agricultural, financial and industrial products and services. Founded in 1865, the privately held company employs 150,000 people in 70 countries.
DSM
Royal DSM is a global science-based company active in health, nutrition and materials. By connecting its unique competences in Life Sciences and Materials Sciences DSM is driving economic prosperity, environmental progress and social advances to create sustainable value for all stakeholders.
Bühler
Bühler is a global leader in the field of process engineering, in particular production technologies and services for producing foods and manufacturing advanced materials. Bühler operates in over 140 countries and has a over 10,000 employees worldwide.
Hershey
The Hershey Company, headquartered in Hershey, PA, is a global confectionery leader known for bringing goodness to the world through its chocolate, sweets, mints and other great-tasting snacks.
Ardent Mills
Ardent Mills is dedicated to helping our customers innovate and grow, with the industry’s broadest range of flours, mixes, blends and specialty products.
Smucker's
Inspired by more than 120 years of business success and five generations of family leadership, The J. M. Smucker Company makes food that people and pets love. The Company’s portfolio of 40+ brands, which are found in 90 percent of U.S. homes and countless restaurants, include iconic products consumers have always loved such as Folgers, Jif and Milk-Bone plus new favorites like Café Bustelo, Smucker’s Uncrustables and Rachael Ray Nutrish.