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Food Processing Information

Food Processing Pages With The Apple Look

My posts on this blog for many years have been written on Apple computers and tablets. I am very much an admirer of Apple and its minimalist approach to design of both hardware and applications. They introduced the clean, light and almost austere look to computer screens which has since become a kind of standard part of succesful user interfaces. So I was struck by the new site of Alfa Laval.

Apple Like Website

click image to visit website

To me its really beautiful and very Apple like. However at the same time it has some really good content which I am likely to share in future posts. For example this flowchart of a milk pasteuriser

click image to visit website

click image to visit website

This flowcharts are interactive linking to father information about the equipment including specifications, diagrams and even animation videos.

As usual I need to note that this information is linked to the equipment of Alfa Laval, which I am not passing any judgement on oe recommending. I do, however, believe that the value of clear information like this outweighs the fact it is linked to the supplier

National Mission on Food Processing – Free Online Information

The National Mission on Food Processing is an Indian web site that provides very detailed information for food processing entrepreneurs on a wide range of food products.

A webpage offering detailed food processing business information

from: National Mission on Food Procesing
(click image for full story online)

The site provides wide ranging information including product and process descriptions as well as costing and financial analysis. It is focused on the needs of smaller and start up entrepreneurs, although the information would be valuable to any processor. Some 110 product are covered in this manual.

Unfortunately, the information and especially the suppliers and costing is developed for application in India. However, it is still a useful source of information for any entrepreneur.

DIGIVU Offers Free Technology Information Searches.

I have for many years been closely involved in extracting free technology information from the INTERNET. I believe I have developed a real skill at this and want to offer to do free searches for all the users of digivu.co.za. Either leave a comment or email me – unless you request otherwise, I will publish the result as it will surely interest others. Note that for more complex technology information and evaluation you could use the Food Industries Information service.

Normally there is all sorts of information available – as an example I searched on extrusion and came up with the following:


There are obvious places to look, like WikipediaStart of Wikipedia's webpage on food extrusion.

click image to visit site


The interesting thing about Wikipedia is that it seems to be as reliable as any other encyclopedia. A study by Nature of Wikipedia and Britanica found that there were only 8 serious errors in the entries evaluated. Four of these from Wikipedia and four from Encyclopedia Britannica. They also found that while Wikipedia articles had 162 less serious errors Britannica had 123. These results were disputed and the measuring of the reliability of Wikipedia information is ongoing, but seems to indicate Wikipedia is a legitimate source of information.


In any field such there are always a number of websites that are recognized as suppliers of information e.g. FAO, Practical Action, Unido, CTA, GTZ for smaller scale food processing. Sometimes for a specialised technology these are not as useful and more attention needs to be paid to other sources. In this case only Practical Action, amongst the above sources, seems to have any information at all.

Extrusion of Foods Practical Answers Practical Action

from: Practical Action
(click image for full story online)

However, these sources are often sufficient to provide whatever is required.


Using a knowledge of how to search and your understanding of the industry you are searching, allows you to find all types of useful information. For example searching for pdf documents only, gets you into areas where your chance of finding something useful is larger – for instance academic reports. As an example this one presents 30 pages of pretty broad and clear introductory information on extrusion.

University Lecture on Extrusion TechnologyScreenshot 12 07 2013 3 48 PM

from: Asharya N G Ranga University
(click image for full story online)

Universities, government departments and associations are often good sources.


Never forget that the equipment suppliers have excellent information on food processing technology and business. They are often prepared to share it openly in an effort to attract customers. As an example (and not a recommendation) Clextral offers some useful information on extrusion.

Clextral images expanded snacks

click image to visit site


This type of information needs to be used with caution because its actually advertising and needs to be evaluated like any advertising.


A picture being worth a thousand words, indicates the value of seeing a piece of equipment in operation. The fact that 48 hours of video are downloaded to YouTube every minute of the day, means that there is more than likely something of value to watch. Like this video from Buhler on making an expanded snack:

Running a twin screw extruder making a puffed snack

click image to visit site



Search Engines make searching too easy! Whatever word/s you enter are going to yield many results, possibly too many! Which is likely to make you worry about finding the useful information in amongst all that is generated by the search. Alternately you may miss information if your search is not accurate.

Take time to learn how the search engine works and learn the features that make your search more effect and efficient – things like searching by time, searching particular web domains, searching via images, excluding results, literal searches, boolean mechanisms etc.


Avoid the temptation to print and file the information you collect. Use read it later services, downloading, databases, structured storage and purpose designed software like Apple’s iBooks to sort everything you find. Then use searches to find the information when you need it.


The above information has all been legitimately posted on the internet. It is also possible to source information illegally, much like pirating music, which I do not recommend.

Often a legitimate search with identify information posted on a legitimate website which seems rather suspect, which the user could legitimately used assuming that the site had made sure this information could be shared legally.

Extrusion cooking technology manuakl

For example, although the book above shows up on a GOOGLE search and is downloadable from a legitimate university website, I suspect downloading and using it would be breaking the copyright. As to reading it online, I am just not sure, although this is the equivalent of reading the book in the university library.

The International Network on Post-harvest Operations – Information Sources.

The INPhO network of the Food and Agricultural Organisation is one of the more comprehensive sources of processing information for small enterprises.

INPhO of the FAO

from: FAO
(click image for full story online)

The information is comprehensive and has a commodity as well as an equipment focus. The equipment and individual databases of the past seem to have been removed, but compendiums and toolkits seem to supply useful information. These however seem to require a bit of digging to find. There is also some business information although this seems to only include the Agriventure programme developed some years ago.

I must admit to being a bit out of touch with this information, so would ask anyone who has recommendations on how to optimize its value, to leave them in the comments.

DTI Presentation – South African Food Processing Industry

This presentation by the DTI contains interesting information on Food Processing and the Food Processing Industry in South Africa. Although it is rather old, much of the information is still of value.

click the image to visit the website and download the document


Decanter, Separator and Process Line Food Processes

GEA is an enormous processing equipment group that includes previous independent processors such as Westfalia, Wiegand, APV Kestner and Niro from the days when I still worked in processing.

click the image to visit the website

This website is that of the separator, decanter and process line part of their business. It presents a wealth of general information on many beverage and dairy processes with links to their equipment pamphlets. Each process is described in detail with a process flowsheet.

While you might be tempted to dismiss this as a source of information because of it equipment supplier link, I believe the information is general enough and unbiased to be useful.


Food & Beverage Preservation: Practical Guidelines

This free 12 page documents by Brenntag focusses on the use of preservatives in the preservation of food and beverages.

click the image to visit the website

This is admittedly a manufacturers document, but it gives good very short overviews of micro organisms, hurdle technology, pH, Water Activity, preservatives and acidulants before detailed information on the application of preservatives in different food groups.

New Food Chain Journal About to Publish Fourth Edition

I have posted previously about the “New” Food Chain, which is the successor to the original food chain magazine which was originally published and widely distributed for free by ITDG, (later Practical Action). The original magazine is replaced by a new International Peer Reviewed Journal as explained here by Practical action.

click the image to visit the website

Food Chain is now about to publish its 4th issue and is disseminating interesting smaller scale food enterprise information within its Food Value Chain focus.

To allow you to get an idea of what the journal offers, the first edition is now free for download. The first edition published the following articles, which can be accessed by clicking on the image above.

If you are interested you can subscribe, buy individual articles online or use the free online abstracts.

Industry Handbook for Safe Processing of Nuts – Free Online Information

This manual prepared by the Grocery Manufacturers Association is available online for free download.

Industry Handbook for Safe Processing of Nuts

from: Grocert Manufacturers Association
(click image for full manual online)

This 150 page book is very detailed and focusses almost exclusively on safety.

Food Studies Journal – Free Online Information

This Journal is worth signing up to and watching. While it does not appear to be large and also covers a wide range of topics it is already a source of useful information.

click image to visit the site

ISEKI_Food Association, is an international peer-reviewed open-access journal featuring scientific articles on the world of Food in Education, Research and Industry. This journal is a forum created specifically to “improve the dissemination of Food Science and Technology knowledge between Education, Research and Industry stakeholders.” Core topics range from raw materials, through food processing, including its effect on the environment, to food safety, nutrition and consumer acceptance. To enrich this forum the journal is also open to other food-related topics such as food policy and food anthropology.