AHRENSBURG, GERMANY — In order to meet the individual needs of the milling industry in India, the German company Mühlenchemie GmbH & Co. KG opened in March a new development and production facility in Umbergam, Gujarat, about 170 kilometers north of Mumbai, India. 

Besides housing a trial bakery and a production plant for enzyme and vitamin blends and baking premixes, this Stern Ingredients Technology and Innovation Centre (SITIC) will serve to adjust the solutions developed in Germany more precisely to the needs of the local market. 

The market is dominated by a large number of small and medium sized mills, run as family businesses. By setting up a production facility of its own, Mühlenchemie will be able to serve the Indian market faster and more individually. The modern rheological technology center with a flour analysis and baking laboratory already employs a staff of 20. The production plant will be managed by Biren Palani. As the managing director and partner of Stern Ingredients India, Palani has years of experience in this market. 

Philipp Gertzen will serve as general manager India — commercial. From the start he has helped to coordinate the establishment of the new facility from the local affiliate in Mumbai. Uttam Waykar, who was previously employed by Salalah Mills in Oman for 15 years, will be in charge of production and the laboratory. 

“The local mills are confronted with extremely complex challenges”, said Mühlenchemie’s Managing Director Lennart Kutschinski at the official opening. “What is more, the eating habits of the growing middle class of the world’s second largest population are changing meteorically. In this situation our local presence will help our customers ‘just in time’, with a high degree of flexibility and short routes.” 

The research and development work will be carried out at the Technology Centre of the company’s German headquarters in Ahrensburg, just outside Hamburg. 

“Cooperation between our research center and the new facility in India opens up excellent prospects for the future; it will enable us to help our customers optimize their production processes and develop ideas for new products for the local market,” Kutschinski said. 

The company will have a trial bakery for international and Indian applications – equipped, for example, with tandoori ovens or halvas. There will also be a rheological laboratory with the usual instruments such as an extensograph, a farinograph and a Glutomatic system. A further feature will be a laboratory for pasta applications. 

The equipment for making enzyme and vitamin blends is designed for an annual production of 2,000 tonnes.  
The new company Stern Ingredients India Private Limited will be Mühlenchemie’s sixth location with research and production capacity of its own after Germany, Russia, Mexico, Turkey and China. 

“Since we intend to offer our customers extra value with individual system solutions, local know-how with close customer relations and intensive consultancy are essential for our business,” said Lennart Kutschinski, explaining the firm’s international expansion.