VENTURES: Afriplex Expands Production
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THE well-known plant extract company based in Paarl, Afriplex, has recently expanded their existing emulsion facility to accommodate increased demand for their beverage emulsions.
The company was established in 2001 primarily as a manufacturer of plant extracts with its main focus on plants indigenous to Africa, but has over time expanded its activities into the manufacturing of intermediates for the beverage and pharmaceutical industries.
The latest expansion, at a cost of R3 million, is mainly as a result of expansion of its client base in Africa and South America.
The expansion of the emulsion production facility was completed towards the end of the first quarter of 2009 and will be producing at full capacity by end of this year. While Afriplex produces a wide range of commercial emulsions, the demand for emulsions with an exotic African character prompted the development of a unique African range.
The company develops client-specific emulsions, tailored to clients’ requirements and needs. An example of this is the production of olive, rooibos and buchu emulsions. In the case of the olive oil emulsion, cold pressed virgin olive oil is delivered in a water soluble format. The emulsion is used to produce olive water, the latter current gaining popularity in health industry as well as an aperitif with vodka.
Afriplex runs a number of farming operations, mainly in the Piketberg and Upington regions cultivating a range of medicinal plants such as buchu, hoodia, pelargonium as well as plants for food ingredients.
A well developed R&D facility in Paarl focuses on the development of novel food and pharmaceutical products.
The company produces about 100 tons of plant extracts per annum, 10 tons of essential oil, 20 tons emulsions, 1 million fruit bars, 10 tons tinctures and a range of final products for the complementary medicine market. This it has been doing well, showing year on year growth of 30% annually on average.
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