By V. Sankara
KAPAR, Feb 8 (Bernama) — A study is underway to use cocoa fats to produce cosmetics in efforts to commercialise cocoa-derived products in the country.
Plantation Industries and Commodities Deputy Minister Datuk Hamzah Zainuddin said the Malaysian Cocoa Board was conducting the study as part of initiatives to fully realise Malaysia’s cocoa industry’s vast growth potential.
Moreover, Malaysia was among the world’s best quality cocoa producers, he said.
Hamzah said the study was the Barisan Nasional government’s initiative to diversify cocoa-based products and to develop Malaysia’s halal product market.
“With the study being carried out, we want to determine eventually cosmetics produced in this country are halal products.
“This is because products made from cocoa fats have high added value and can be commercialised,” he told reporters after opening a Cocoa Community Development project at Kampung Bukit Kerayong, near here, Tuesday.
Earlier, in his speech, Hamzah said the Malaysia Cocoa Board aims to bolster cocoa beans production to 40,000 tonnes in 2015 and 60,000 tonnes by 2020.
He said the ministry through the board had always stepped up promotions campaign for cocoa and cocoa-derived products including boosting cocoa yield.
“This is important because the current cocoa bean production is far behind the country’s real needs. A total of 302,366 tonnes of cocoa beans were processed last year while domestic cocoa production was only about 16,000 tonnes a year.
“This means Malaysia has to import cocoa beans from countries like Indonesia, Ghana and Ivory Coast to meet domestic demand,” he said.
At the event, Hamzah opened “Kerayong Chocolate Enterprise” at Kampung Bukit Kerayong to support the growth of the local chocolate-making industry.
The RM100,000 premises, which started operations in February last year, has the capacity to produce 300kg to 500kg chocolates a month.