Monthly Archives: February 2012

How Do You Process Food In The Open Air?

I’ve recently come across images and videos of processing outside and started wondering how this is controlled and how the products of such processing are accepted by countries with strict import quality standards. Here’s an example of a chili drying operation in West Africa.


My first INTERNET search was not that productive. Do any of you have links or contacts I could follow up on to try and get an understanding which I would publish here.

First things that come to mind are:

  • Rooibos had a major quality problem some years back, that the story goes was caused by birds flying over their drying area
  • All that high cost, nutritious, organic, sun dried fruit is dried in the open
  • Indoor processors often wear gloves, overalls, hats and even masks while outdoors the food is exposed to whatever is there
  • Not even the term used is very clear some Chinese processors talk of Garden Factories, engineers use open processing and open air processing also applies to food markets.
  • So how do these fit together and what else is processed in the open? I would be interested to hear from any of you who have information to offer.

    TIME TO GET TO KNOW SKA AFRICA The time for the final decision on the Square Kilometre Array (SKA…


    The time for the final decision on the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) is getting nearer. The SKA is a radio telescope in development which will be able to survey the sky more than ten thousand times faster than ever before. It will continue radio astronomy's tradition of providing the highest resolution images in all astronomy.

    This is an international €1.5 billion project that has to be in the Southern Hemisphere. Following a long process the choice is now between South Africa and Australia/New Zealand.

    Have a look and make your inputs.

    Southern Africa is fast becoming a hub of activities in the field of astronomy and related technologies. Winning the SKA bid will be a major step forward for the government's Astronomy Geographica…

    Explaining Technology by Analogy.

    This interesting diagram from emphasizes the fact that the Tetrapak cartons are separated under the liquid a key point of the aseptic packaging technology.

    photo by Tetrapak – usable under Creative Commons license

    The more modern version is maybe not as explicit but much more appealing. This is a technologyand a presentation thereof that Steve Jobs would have admired.

    photo by Tetrapak – usable under Creative Commons license 

    HACCP in Food Service – Free Online Information

    This 80 plus page book by the World Health Organisation lays out the process of establishing HACCP management in a Food Service environment. 

     click image to download report

    The first question is whether a manual on Food Service Will be useful to a food processor. The answer is that the process is identical whereever it is applied and that reading the manual written specifically about a food service operation improves the comprehension as we all know the principles of cooking. Other manuals either present information theoretically or choose a manufacturing process you may not understand.

    The book is clearly and simply written and covers all the necessary information.


    Is it not just a carbonated alcoholic liquid which is then flavored (cinamon for the hot version and rasberry and ginger for the cool) by the consumer depending on whether it’s going to be drunk hot or cold.

    I would rather a normal red for mull wine or white wine for a kir. On the other hand I have drunk beer with fruit syrup in France which is a nice change.

    It does show how difficult the market, with all the alcopop offerings is, and what lengths brewers, once a very conservative breed, now seem to be prepared to go.

    A Polish brewer has launched a beer that is designed to be consumed chilled, or heated!

    Wooden Scooter in The DRC

    Amazing what lengths people need to go to for transport and then still to have the drive to modify it not for utility but just for fun!

    In the towns and villages of war-ravaged eastern Congo, the lumpy, lava-covered roads belong to the humble chukudu: hand-hewn wooden scooters that men ride and push across the hills, hauling towering …

    Meat Processing Technology For SMEs – Free Online Information

    This 450 page book is an amazing resource for the aspirant meat processor. It covers everything from meat to plant cleaning in great detail.

    Meat Processing Technology For SMEs 1

    from: UN FAO
    (click image for full story online)

    Meat, processes and equipment are described in detail with supporting diagrams and photographs. Processing is described based on the processing principles six classes of meat products defined in the manual and on selected processes. Understanding the difficulty in the hygienic aspects of food processing the manual has a strong focus on Good Hygienic Practices (GHP) and Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point Schemes (HACCP), which are discussed in detail in the manual. But realizing the complexity of the process it also supplies much background information to allow a good understanding but also describes in practical detail cleaning and sanitation practices.

    This appears to really be a very good and comprehensive technology reference manual. It does not address market and business issues.