Koa nets US$10M to scale upcycled Ghanaian cocoa fruit
Food upcycling start-up Koa – specializing in repurposing cocoa pulp, a byproduct from the chocolate industry as value-added ingredients – has captured US$10 million in funding to raise its processing by tenfold at its plant in Ghana. The company also plans to share its upcycling technologies with 10,000 additional cocoa smallholders.
Cocoa pulp has been “vastly underutilized” for practical reasons, Daniel Otu, production and operation Director at Koa, tells FoodIngredientsFirst.
“The lack of infrastructure and the climatic conditions in cocoa-growing regions of Ghana requires a new approach with innovative processes and local investments. There’s only a short time window to preserve the fresh pulp.”
“To manage that, we developed a decentralized process together with cocoa smallholders that smoothly integrates into the local and traditional harvesting setting,” he explains.
The result of this process is that the new method only needs three hours between pod breaking to pasteurization.