Mar 04 2010
This book by Barbara H. Ingham is available online via http://bit.ly/FBRDH2.
This 65 page book gives comprehensive information on the basis of jam, jelly and preserve making as well as a large number of recipes. Being an output of the University of Wisconsin, the measurements are unfortunately in imperial units. However, if you are online, conversions are easily made using the google search with say “convert 134F to C” or other conversion tools.
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This review was first published in African Food Processing.
The book starts with a discussion of the raw materials of jam making giving specific information on types of pectin and discussing the alternatives to sugar. This is followed by a description of the equipment and packaging material required.
It then gives a general description of the processes of making jam followed by tables which present recipes and conditions for a range of 30 jams. Jellies, low sugar jams, no sugar jams and refrigerator jams are presented in the same way. Preserves, conserves, marmalade, fruit butters and syrups are covered with detailed recipes.
There is information on freezing fruit when supply is high for later jam making, a trouble shooting table for jellies and the various methods of deciding when boilng should be stopped.
One important issue is that all recipes include the use of a boiling water canner. This is basically a hot water bath into which filled and sealed bottles are immersed for several minutes depending on the product and the process. This food hygiene process is not universally used. So long as jam has an appropriate water activity and is properly hot filled it will not be effected by microbial contamination. In fact this property is what lead to the development of jam as a means of preserving fruit.
Market Research for Agroprocessors
This book by Andrew Shepherd is available via http://bit.ly/FBRDH3 ( the full url is http://www.fao.org/waicent/faoinfo/agricult/ags/AGSM/markres.pdf)
This 100 page plus manual, published by the Food and Agricultural Organisation, presents a simple and logical look at how a small agroprocessor should go about making sure that there is a market for the product they intend producing. The contents of the manual indicate the scope of the information:
✓ Why do we need market research?
✓ How much can be sold, where and when?
✓ Researching consumer attitudes to your products.
✓ How can your product be made attractive to consumers?
✓ How should your product be distributed?
✓ How should you promote your product.
✓ Are your agroprocessing plans feasible?
✓ Will your business be profitable, and at what prices?
✓ Annex 1 – Questions for market research
✓ Annex 2 – A consumer questionnaire
✓ Further reading
The manual introduces each chapter with an outline of the main issues to be covered and provides “hint boxes” which present practical ideas and “word of warning boxes” that identifies particular problems. The sections on collecting information, distribution and advertising contain practical examples and illustrations.
The last two sections on feasibility and profitability are really important and often don’t get enough attention in the euphoria of a new product. The former goes through all (things such as production and seasonality, location of the farmers and buying costs, price variation, scope for farmers to increase production, labeling, distribution and promotion, licensing and regulations) that has to be in place to run a production business while the latter provides examples of costing and cash flow.
Each section ends with a “Reaching Conclusions” box, which identifies the new information the user should generate by following the manual. The manual is illustrated with cartoons and contains real examples of checklists for research and a consumer survey in the annexes.
The book ends with a set of references.