By investing in a new factory Alter Farmacia is taking control of its own destiny. The plant, which produces infant formula with Tetra Pak equipment, prepares the company well for new growth opportunities.
Nutriben is a well-recognised brand of high-quality baby food products in its home market Spain, but also in neighbouring countries such as Portugal, Italy and France. The Nutriben products are manufactured and distributed by Alter Farmacia, which belongs to the family-owned Alter Group.
The Nutriben product line consists of infant formula milk powder, cereals and purees. Keeping a premium product profile is important, which why the products are sold mainly through pharmacies instead of supermarkets. In addition, company has built a close relationship with paediatric doctors, who recommend the products to parents.
The company has been selling infant formula for many years, but has been dependent on suppliers for producing it.
“In 2010 we decided to invest in our own factory to be able to increase sales and develop new formulas,” says Tristán Jusué Gortazar, plant manager at Alter Farmacia.
As Alter did not have any previous experience in running a baby-formula plant, it was strategically important to choose the right supplier.
“We wanted someone to not only install the machinery, but also to teach us how to produce with it,” Jusué says. “Also, we wanted a highly automated plant, to ensure quality and homogeneous products, with cost-efficient production,” he says.
Three of the world’s leading suppliers were asked to tender for the project. Finally Alter decided to give Tetra Pak the assignment.
“I have a lot of confidence in the company’s employees, they have the capacity to take on a project like this,” he says.
The solution is a turnkey project and includes everything from reception of raw materials to powder production. In the wet area, the many ingredients are blended with a Tetra Pak® High Shear Mixer, pumped to a Tetra Therm® Lacta pasteurizer, where the product is heated and pasteurized, then to tanks before the product goes into the dry area where it is processed by the Tetra Pak® Evaporator Falling Film and the Tetra Pak® Spray Dryer. The system also includes two Tetra Pak® CIP unit systems. All areas are controlled by Tetra Pak’s automation system. In order to achieve a stable product of the highest quality, the mixing phase is extremely important. “We are very happy with the mixer. It is very fast and is working perfectly. It produces a very homogenous, standardised and stable product.”
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