Tag Archives: free

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.

Information Sources

With the closing of Google Reader this site lost what I thought was a nice source of information – the news links that used to show in the right hand column. While I look for another way of supplying news, I am going to add a place where suppliers of information can put a link to their offering on this page.

To start the ball rolling I am adding two links to online collections that were requested by other websites. The first is:


from: Top Online College Courses
(click image for full story online)

They describe the site as aggregating “the best free and open courseware for students and professionals, in a conveniently searchable online courseware platform”. They offer free courses from “Biology to accounting, foreign languages to science” from universities which includes Yale, MIT, Stanford and Harvard.

Free Online Technology Training – Principles of Food Processing

The International Union of Food Science and Technology (IUFoST) is developing a distance learning programme that is aimed at supporting entrepreneurs and workers operating in the Food Manufacturing Industry. To date six modules have been developed.

  • Dehydration and Drying
  • Food Packaging
  • Freezing
  • Practical Human Nutrition
  • Shelf life and Food Losses
  • Quality Assurance


Each module consists of well defined sections which are learnt through a manual, assignments and exams all supported by a mentor.

I would like to take on the mentoring of readers of this blog who might be interested to follow modules. There is no cost so you just need to contact me to get signed up and follow the process that will be described on the website. The material starts out very simply and clearly so anyone involved in food processing would be able to easily master it and benefit from increasing their knowledge.

So why not contact me by using this link either to register and receive details of how to proceed or to request further information.

Free Online African Food Science Journal

Here is another free source of Food Science literature.


African Journal of Food Science. March 2009 3(3).-2.jpg

from: African Journal of Food Science
(click image for full story online)


This seems to be a source of papers of high standards on Africa specific topics. The topics covered in this the latest edition are:

    • Quality of fufu processed from cassava mosaic disease (CMD) resistant varieties
    • Trials towards reduction of fungal growth and aflatoxin G1 production in Arabic coffee using different additives
    • Antibacterial effects of extracts of Ocimum gratissimum and piper guineense on Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus
    • Stability studies and mineral concentration of some Nigerian packed fruit juices, concentrate and local beverages


Free Subscription to Food Processing Electronic Edition

Continuing the focus on identifying free online material we look at an online food Journal. Unfortunately this requires good and affordable online access and bandwidth.

Food Processing, an American company that is based on a paper journal and an informative website now offers free access to its online electronic journal.


ReadOz - Read.jpg

click here to apply for free subscription
(click image to visit the FoodProcessing.com site)


The commercial content is obviously very focussed on the American market but there is technical information that is interesting and one should anyway know what is going on around the world to be able to succeed in the food market.

The format makes it necessary to read the journal using an animated online reader – fancy but maybe not most appropriate for Africa.