Dutch astronaut opens Royal Duyvis Wiener technology center

By Jenny Eagle

- Last updated on GMT

Pciture credit: André Kuipers Blog
Pciture credit: André Kuipers Blog

Related tags Space exploration Chocolate

Astronaut André Kuipers, has opened a technology centre at Royal Duyvis Wiener’s HQ in Koog aan de Zaan, the Netherlands, claiming he wants to take Dutch cheese and chocolate on his next space mission.

The 2000 m² facility contains Royal Duyvis Wiener’s entire range of cocoa and chocolate production equipment including an R&D centre, pilot plant for trials, product development and testing for cocoa, chocolate or nuts.

30th​ anniversary

The site will be a testing centre for recipes as well as analytical comparisons between all production methods available on the market.

Mirjam van Dijk, CEO, Royal Duyvis Wiener,said the technology centre, along with the extension of its production facility, and newly built offices, coincides with the company’s 30th​ anniversary.

She said 400 guests from over 40 countries were invited to the official opening by Kuipers last month where he gave an insight into his Expedition 30/31 six months in space, the technological and environmental challenges our planet is facing, and the success of international cooperation.

During his lecture, he mentioned that on his next trip in space he would not only like to take Dutch cheese, but some chocolate made by Duyvis Wiener technology​,” she said.

Kuipers has flown two space missions - the DELTA mission in 2004. In May 2009, he was a backup for Belgian astronaut Frank de Winne, who later became the Expedition 21 commander, during the latter part of his six-month mission.

Spaceflight PromISSe Expedition

On December 21, 2011, Kuipers joined his second spaceflight PromISSe on Expedition 30 and Expedition 31. He returned to earth on July 1, 2012.

After the opening guests were divided in groups for a tour around the technology center and the production plant.

Our teams of food processors and design engineers are working side by side to find the best possible solution for customers, by calculating every aspect of the process, such as taste, rheology, capacity, energy use and performance​,” added van Dijk.

The centre is the next logical step in the growth and development of the Royal Duyvis Wiener Group​.”

The pilot plant located at Koog aan de Zaan, includes a laboratory ball mill which can replicate any factory inside its building. The firm also has a pilot plant in Aalen, The Netherlands, which contains equipment manufactured by F.B. Lehmann for the ‘traditional’ production of chocolate.

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