Tag Archives: manual

Meat Processing for Small Businesses – Free Online Information

Here is another example of valuable technology information that is available for free from the FAO.

click the image to download the manual

click the image to download the manual

The manual covers meat science, processing, processing equipment, ingredients and formulations in detail with little mention of other business topics such as distribution, marketing and quality. The book is some 400 pages long is well illustrated with drawings and photographs.


New Practical Action Website Boosts Information Sharing.

Practical Action has a long history as a quality supplier of technology information for small scale food processing as well as other fields such as irrigation, sanitation and energy which match rural development focus.

Over time they have gone through many changes from their hands on origins as Intermediate Technology Development Group (ITDG) founded by Schumakker the father of the Appropriate Technology movement to their IT strong position of today.


Practical Action Food Processing Archive site link

click on the image to visit the site

The image above is of the food processing information available on the site – each subject links to a number of papers from over the years. All this information is of a high standard and scientifically rigorous.

As well as this information the site offers an expert question answering service, case studies and a mechanism for users to share their experiences and information.

This site really deserves a visit and probably real support to make it a valuable resource to those active in small scale food processing.

Manual For Entrepreneurs: Food Processing Industry – Free Online Information

This is a free 200 page manual developed for Food Processing entrepreneurs in India.


Since it’s written for Indian entrepreneurs a lot of the business information is only really applicable in India, but there is still a lot of interest. This free version was written around 2000, so if the numbers in the overview of the food industry are important you would be advised to buy a newer version.

The scope of the manual as indicated by the table of contents:

1. The Food Processing Sector in India
2. The Impact of Policy on Enterprises
3. Who is an Entrepreneur?
4. Soft Skills for Entrepreneurs
5. Planning a Small-Scale Unit: Whom to Approach for What
6. Business Opportunity Identification
7. Market Survey Tools, Preparation of Schedule and Techniques of Data Collection
8. Production Programme, Plant Capacity, ManpowerRequirements and Layout
9. Business Plan Format for Tiny and Small Enterprises
10. The Financials of a Project Report
11. Assessing Financial Viability of the Project
12. Bookkeeping and Accounting and Financial Statements
13. Costing and Pricing of Products
14. Working Capital Management 14515. Marketing Management
16. Applied Management in Business: Learning from Existing Businesses
17. Legal Requirements
18. Support Institutions for Promotion of Food Processing Sector

Rather India focussed annexures include many contacts as well as a more general list of references and suggested reading.

The manual is very practical and detailed with many checklists, forms, case studies and financial calculations to assist the entrepreneur to cover all necessary aspects of setting up an enterprise.

The manual does not provide food processing information, only providing a list of potential technology and equipment suppliers

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.

Small Scale Processing of Underutilised Fruits – Free Online Technical Manual

This 96 page manual focusses on lesser know fruits – so much so that I in fact have tasted none of them! The fruits covered are amla, bael, ber, jackfruits,lapsi, persimmon, sugar apple and tamirand.

Processing of Lesser Known Fruits - amla, bael, ber, jackfruits,lapsi, persimmon, sugar apple and tamirand.

from: FAO INPhO
(click to download free manual)

It is divided into four sections.

  • a short section covering measures and techniques that are required to carry out the processing
  • a description of post harvest processing and then details of the specific processes for each of the fruits
  • a section on producing shelf stable products including pickled fruits, non-alcoholic beverages, jam and jelly, dried fruits, fruit leather, candies, preserves and powder with details for the different fruits
  • finally a section aimed at introducing the business issues and providing the necessary information for a person entering business for the first time

It is well illustrated and provides a very high level of detail. It also includes a large list of references.

Packaging Lesser known fruit juices 1

click image to visit site


Even if you don’t have access to these special fruits the information, both technical and business, makes it worth while downloading this manual and keeping it on your computer.

Cereals Post Harvest Management – Free Online Technical Manual

Grain Post Harvest Management Manual Cover-1.jpg

This has no Food Processing but focusses in detail on the small scale management of cereals giving details information on spoilage, treatment, storage equipment and storage practices.

It is a well illustrated book that is aimed at the extension worker.


Organic Business Guide – From field to market

This is not an organic food processing book that aims to get businesses into Organic Production. It is however a complete book on Organic business that will give the Food Processor a very good background if they are trying to bring organic into their business.

Organic Business Guide - Wikibooks, collection of open-content textbooks.jpg

(click the image to open website)

The complete book covers a range of topics including:

  • Organic production and Fair Trade
  • Starting from the market
  • Developing organic value chains
  • Designing the organic production system
  • Planning and managing your business
  • Organising producers for the market
  • Certification and internal control systems
  • From field to market
  • Marketing

A nice overview of the complete value chain of organic food which does have a small section on food processing of organic foods is presented in “From field to market”. This will give the food processor a good overview.

Organic Business Guide_From field to market - Wikibooks, collection of open-content textbooks-2.jpg

(click the image to open website)


Business Manual – Exporting Speciality Foods

I have blogged on the West African Tradehub before, but this is a look at specific information and an assessment of it practicality and applicability.





from: West Africa Tradehub
(click image for full story online)


Every small food business workshop surely lists export as an opportunity in their SWOT analysis. What the vast majority are unable to do is to understand the implication of a strategy that focuses on export. Therefore it gets written up and maybe posted on the webpage more in excitement and optimism that in expectation.

This manual should be prescribed reading for the facilitator of such workshops, but more importantly seems to be a realistic HOW TO manual for a business wishing to consider the potential of entering and export market and also its checklist and directory as an exporter.

The manual appears to be pretty comprehensive, but if anyone who has practical experience could offer feedback I would be happy to publish that here.

The Table of Contents is copied below:

Why this export guide?
1. Success in exporting specialty foods
1.1. Why should your business export?
1.2. How does international trade differ from domestic trade?
1.3. In-house management issues involved in the decision to export
1.4. Importance of an export marketing strategy
Continue reading

Business Manual – Small-scale Root Crops and Tubers Processing and Products

The UNIDO manual on Small-scale Root Crops and Tubers
Processing and Products is in the same series as other manuals prepared for UNIDO by Peter Fellows, including Small-scale Cereal Milling and Bakery Products



from: UNIDO
(click image for full story online)


Like the Milling Manual this not just a textbook explanation of tubers and their processing – it comprehensively covers the real and practical issues that need to be addressed to establish and sustain a food processing business. The following are covered in detail-

    • building and site requirements
    • production planning
    • practical checklists ensuring the entrepreneur covers everything
    • practical information on processing loss
    • worked calculations on technical and financial issues
    • practical rules supporting the hygiene message
    • process flowsheets defining manufacturing processes
    • photographs illustrating the text
    • practical checklists supporting trouble shooting

This is a really practical book that would serve any entrepreneur entering the market well. I will help him/her to be sure they have covered all the important aspects.