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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:

WIKIPEDIA

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.

RECOGNISED SOURCES

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.

SEARCH FOR PDFs

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.

COMMERCIAL INFORMATION

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.

VIDEO

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

 

SEARCHING SKILLS

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.

BUILD A LIBRARY

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.

QUESTIONABLE SOURCES

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.

Eco-Efficiency Issues

This document from a Queensland (Australia) initiative to improve eco-efficiency covers a number of emerging issues in Food Manufacturing.

ecoefficiency factsheets foodprocess general ecofoodgen fsg4 pdf

click image to visit site

 

Some of the topical issues discussed are Food miles, Virtual water, Life cycle assessment, Supply chain management and Food eco-labelling.

The site also contains case studies and manuals that provide implementable information for food processors.

Mobile Processing

Mobile processing always comes up in brainstorming as a way of reducing capital investment in small scale food processing enterprises. Here is one I had not seen or considered.

click the image to visit the website

A previous post describes a transportable abattoir and I have seen transportable essential oil and a hammer millin plant. If you would like to input some other processes you have seen you can email me using this link.

 

Lost Crops of Africa – Fruits – Free Online Technical Manual

I posted some general thoughts on this book when it was published a few years ago. The other day I came across it again, on the USAID site as a free download, although its published by The National Academic Press . I felt it would be worthwhile reminding readers of the book and giving them the link to the download.

Http pdf usaid gov pdf docs PNADS877 pdf

from: USAID
(click image for full story online)

The book covers cultivated and wild fruits in two parts. Each part presents general information on the fruits’s potential role in addressing issues such as Malnutrition, Food Security, Rural Development and Sustainable Landcare. The part on Wild Fruit also covers particular issues such as
Increasing Wild Fruit Usage, Developing Wild Fruits, Nutrition, Sustainable Forestry and Social Difficulties.

Both parts then cover a large number of fruits separately and in detail.

The cultivated fruit section covers Balanites (Balanites aegyptiaca), Baobab (Adansonia digitata), Butterfruit (Dacryodes edulis), Carissa (Carissa species), Horned Melon (Cucumis metulifer), Kei Apple (Dovyalis caffra), Marula (Sclerocarya birrea), Melon(Cucumis melo), Tamarind (Tamarindus indica) and Watermelon (Citrullus lanatus).

While the wild fruits include Aizen, Chocolate Berries, Custard Apples, Ebony, Gingerbread Plums, Gumvines, Icacina, Imbe (Garcinia livingstonii). Medlars, Monkey Oranges, Star Apples, Sugarplum, Sweet Detar (Detarium senegalense) and Tree Grapes.

Each fruit is covered in detail with abundant drawing and photographs and information on all aspects from cultivation to utilisation.

This is an amazing resource which an enormous amount of detail.