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New Milk Processing Technology For Rural Small Scale Farmers

Small scale farmers in rural areas with a a few cows can easily produce more milk than their family consumes, opening the opportunity to earn income by selling milk. However climate, lack of reliable energy and long distances make this an unreliable business. Introducing standard fresh milk handling technology does not work because of the costs are too high, the quantities too low and energy too unreliable. Other solutions such as increasing shelf life with fermented products and introducing the Lactoperoxidase System have there place but there is real demand for fresh milk.

This new system being introduced by Promethean Power could change this.

Chilling Milk Directly From the Cow for India s Dairy Farmers Modern Farmer

click the image to open an online story

This is a mechanically simple system that is powered by local electrical supply which does not need to be consistent or reliable. Whenever electricity is available it is used to “charge” a thermal storage system, the system is then used to cool milk whenever it is available.

The thermal storage system consists of a cylindrical stainless steel tank, containing an unspecified phase change chemical in a heat transfer fluid. When electricity is available it is used to refrigerate the tank, freezing the chemical which absorbs large quantities of energy as it changes phase.

The simplicity of the system lies in the design of what they have termed the Rapid Milk Chiller. The milk is distributed on the top of the stainless steel tank, it flows over the total surface of the tank and is thereby cooled quickly. With gravity transferring the milk there are no pumps, pipes and controls which would complicate maintenance, be difficult to clean and require electricity.

There is also the potential to use any other alternative energy source e.g. solar, wind, biogas and biomass which can be converted into electricity.  

I like the idea and look forward to hearing about how it works out in practice.

Garden of Flavour Juices – Interesting Foods

Is this a real product or is it a marketing man’s response to a consumer trends survey?

Garden of Flavor cold pressed organic juices

click the image to open the note

So what are the claims of this juice range

  • Organic
  • Cold Pressed
  • High Pressure Processed
  • Probiotic culture
  • Fresh ingredients
  • Never heated
  • Gluten Free

Very cleverly the probiotic survives high pressure process, so can essentially be added before the juice is high pressure processed to maximise its shelf life. By the way its not 100% clear if in bottle HPP processing is used or not – I ams to follow up on this.

The ingredients foci on healthy foods using citrus to improve the flavour of what they call Green Juice. Green Harmony includes the following ingredients – “Organic cucumber, Organic Apples, Organic Romaine Lettuce, Organic Kale, Organic Celery, Organic Lemon, Organic Spinach, Organic Parsley and Over One Billion Deliverable Probiotic Cultures”

So many characteristics that one wonders if it is not overdone, I don’t think I can find another processing/ingredient issue to add. Thats assuming there are no colorants or flavours added.

Then this high tech product goes into a very homely looking  package about which there are no environmental claims made. There is also no focus on sustainability which may be a problem with a juice that requires 5 kg of leafy green vegetables to produce 473 ml of juice.

Tetrapak Juice Pasteurisation – Never too Experienced to Learn

I was amazed to find this technical note on Tetrapak’s website.

 

Www tetrapak com DocumentBank White paper Optimized Pasteurization pdf

click the image to open the note

Since I first heard of Tetrapak in the 1970s I always saw them as highly technology and science focused and the leaders in liquid food processing. I and many others  accepted their process design parameters without question. Now after all these years Tetrapak has the foresight and courage to question whether what has become normal practice is really the best solution.

They apparently asked three questions can the heat load in pre-filling pasteurisation be decreased, will a lower pasteurisation temperature result in product change and can a larger design temperature difference be used.

This interesting paper seems to answer positively in all respects and reports a 1.3 kg per 1000l carbon footprint saving which indicated we will be seeing changes in our plants.

Potato Crisp Production – Free Online Process Descriptions

This simple description outlines the process and equipment used in the commercial production of potato crisps.

How potato chip is made used processing product machine Raw Materials The Manufacturing Process Quality Control Byproducts Waste The Future 5

click image to see article

If you are interested in the smaller scale production of potato crisps as the basis for a household business, Practical Action publish a Technical Brief 

Potato Storage and Processing pdf

click image to see article

This is a detailed article that provides a lot of useful information and also has contact details for Practical Action who are specifically experienced in small scale businesses with a developmental side.

Positive Deplacement Pumps – free online information

Here is an interesting website

Click on the image to visit the website

This websites covers a range of issue around pumping where positive deplacement pumps can be used. The information is broad ranging from simple description of the different positive deplacement pump technologies, through application notes to a database of liquids and specifications for the pump required to pump them.

Having recently done some examining, in which one of the question was on NPSH and cavitation it was clear that this site's four page pdf would have been very useful.

Click on the image to visit the website

The NPSH article can be downloaded by clicking here with acknowledgement and thanks to pumpschool.com.

 

Membrane Filtration – Single Screenshot Series

Tetra Pak Dairy Processing Handbook Membrane Filters Dairy Processing Hand Book pdf

from: Tetra Pak
(click image for full story online)

Membrane Filters – Free Online Information

Here is a link to another chapter from the Tetra Pak Dairy Processing Handbook, this time on membrane filters in dairy processing.

Tetrapak Dairy Processing Handbook Membrane Filters Dairy Processing Hand Book pdf

from: Tetra Pak
(click image for full story online)

Why not download the chapters that match your activities in food processing. Although these have a focus on dairy there is totally applicable information on heat exchangers, centrifugal separators, membrane separation, homogenizers and rheology.

Heat Excahangers – Free Online Information

In a previous post I said that equipment suppliers often supply useful technological information which is not necessarily tied to their equipment.

If you are looking for technical information on heat exchangers for the food industry here is a good place.

Extract from Tetrapak's Dairy Technology Book on heat exchangers.

click image to access the pdf

 

This gives you access to an impressive 15 page chapter from the Tetra Pak Dairy Processing Handbook covering uses of heat exchangers, pasteurisation, sterilisation, heat transfer mechanisms, design equations and equipment options.

The complete manual of 440 pages and 600 illustrations costs $80, but there appear to be quite a few free extracts (Tetra Pak has six on its page for the book) online. Some educational institutions provide the manual free of charge for students.

Why not download the chapters that match your activities in food processing. Although these have a focus on dairy there is totally applicable information on heat exchangers, centrifugal separators, membrane separation, homogenizers and rheology.

Do Germans Spend 20 Times More Than Chadians on Food?

Hungry Planet, a recent book by Peter Menzel and Faith D’Aluisio, presents the food consumption of households around the world. The results are presented in the form of a picture of the family and the food they ate in a week, just like this German family.

click the image to visit the website

In each case the total cost of the food is given (in this case $500) as well as demographics of the country and some information on favorite foods. Besides just being interesting and revealing eg this German Family drinks 4 bottles of wine in the week while the French family appears to drink only one, it gives a view of food culture an food processing.

Revealing and concerning is the difference between first and third world countries and in particular, Central African countries. The family from Chad spends only $2,50 on food, just a 20th of the German Family!

click the image to visit the website

This is quite startling, although the environmental impact is probably even more interesting given the almost complete lack of processed food, besides post harvest processing, and one way packaging in the food of the Chadian family. While the German family shows that in a week they used around sixty glass, plastic and board beverage containers.

Not much scope for a Food Processor in Chad!

The answer to the question in the title is that we can’t tell from these single images. However, we can be sure that the general differences highlighted are an indication of the food culture differences. We also know from the research on waste, that a significant fraction of the food (maybe a quarter) shown in the German home is probably wasted, while very little of that reaching the Chadian household is.

 

 

Fairtrade Shebeen Style?

FAIRTRADE has been a great success based on its rapid growth in turnover. There are, however questions that linger around the benefit to farmers compared to the turnover as well as other issues.

Shebeen generating funds to development

from: Shebeen
(click image for full story online)

A new idea that also allows the consumer to generate income for development is the Australian Shebeen. This food and drink outlet carries products that are linked to specific developing countries e.g. Tuskers from Kenya, Valdivieso Pinot Noir from Chile and Mumma Ho’s Vietnamese meatball.

It then distributes “100%” of its profits to “Not for Profits” in the country of origin of the food or drink bought.

I really like the idea, but it needs more information and transparency to understand its real benefit. Does $2 really go to development for each beer drunk as reported in one story?

  • what are profits – e.g. how are salaries, disbursement and reinvestment set
  • how are “Not for Profits” selected and what is the cost of this
  • how do normal developed country products contribute
  • is this a once off or is it scalable – i.e. when do we see an Australian she been in Soweto
  • I will be following up on this over the next while.