A woman stocks shelves at a shop that sells chocolates on Monivong Boulevard in Phnom Penh yesterday. She could soon be selling domestically produced chocolate made partly with palm sugar, a product Confirel Company aims to introduce this year, according to its President Hay Ly Eang.
The firm has purchased the machinery from a Chinese supplier at a cost of US$120,000, which can produce up to four tonnes of chocolate per day, he claimed. Palm sugar will be an important ingredient for the products, aiming to grow the appeal of the sugar as a sweetener to a wider audience, he said. “The production of chocolate made with palm sugar will boost … Khmer palm sugar,” he said.
Confirel presently concentrates on producing palm sugar products using raw materials from provinces such as Kampong Speu. It claims to have exported about 20 tonnes of its palm sugar to foreign markets this year, with plans to export a further 30 tonnes.
Cambodian Sugar Association President Sam Saroeun said he supported the company’s plan to make chocolate using palm sugar, as it would provide a boost to the sugar industry.
Ministry of Industry, Mines and Energy Department of Industry head Meng Saktheara said this was likely the first instance of a Cambodian firm producing chocolate using palm sugar.