I would have liked to have seen a bit more on the heat sensitive components of the three Amaranthus varieties used as feed and some mass balances to compare the degree of drying with the nutrient changes.
It is also interesting to note that AJFAND is a free online journal and that is edited by Professor Ruth Oniang’o. A few of the other articles that caught my eye were.
Use of dried kapenta (Limnothrissa miodon and Stolothrissa tanganicae) and other products based on wholde fish for complementing maize-based diets. Anna Haug et al.
Production of protein concentrate and isolate from cashew (Anacardium occidentale L.) nut. Semiu Ogunwolu et al.
If you search the blog you will see that drying is the frequent subject of posts. This is because it is an effective and simple preservation technology that can (depending on the process used) be implemented with little or no capital investment.
Given the dual problem of food shortages and soaring energy costs, it seems that now would be a good time for extension and project officers to be focussing on sun and solar drying. I am thinking of preparing a post and webpage that will try and present a practical linked decision tree for sun and solar drying.
In the mean time this article on the FAO website is extremely useful.
The article has its origins in work done in Uganda on a simple cabinet dryer. This first article in a series focuses on the approach an entrepreneur would take to evaluate the potential of entering the dried fruit business.
Detailed costs and calculations are supplied. These need to be adjusted for the entrepreneurs local conditions and costs especially as this new summary document is undated and the original work was done in the 70s. However, the process outlined, checklists and calculation methods are all very useful.
The article supplies sufficient technical information to be able to do the evaluation but not enough to build a dryer and start drying. This is the subject of additional articles.
The information provided and the people involved are linked to the export of dried pineapple, mango and banana to Europe which was very successfully introduced on a large scale in Uganda. An interesting warning in the article is that the local selling price is normally 2 to 6 times lower than the export price.
This story in the New Vision Online, described this new machine designed and built by Joseph Kavuma of Tonnet Enterprises of Uganda.
from: New Vision (click image for full story online)
….Beans, maize, soya beans, groundnuts, millet, simsim cowpeas and tomatoes can all be treated in the machine before planting.
“The machine can treat 75kgs in 10 minutes. The whole process; loading, mixing and off-loading takes approximately 20 minutes. In an hour, you can treat 225kgs of seeds or grain,” explains Kavuma.
…..However, Kavuma warns that for the machine to work effectively, it must be greased routinely. Servicing and repairing the bearings has to be done at least once a month. He says the tumbler should not be loaded with more than 75kgs.
….The smallest treating plant costs sh1.5m, but there is room for negotiation,” Kavuma says.
The market for farmers supplying fresh milk to the Sameer Agriculture and Livestock Limited’s (SALL) has increased from 50 to 120 thousand litres in the past 18 months and is expected to reach 300 thousand litres in 6 months.
Sameer is a joint venture established by Sameer Group of Kenya, which operates various businesses in East Africa, and RJ Corp, a food and beverages industry in India.
Sameer took over the Government Funded Dairy Corporation Limited (DCL) in August 2006 and invested strongly in maintenance (getting the plant operational), transport (ensuring reliable transport) and processes ( diversifying, eg drying, to be able to manage variable production) . This has allowed them to increase the amount of milk processed and capture significant export markets.
This success story should be a warning to all food processing businesses, unless you can invest in maintaining an efficient and comprehensive operation, you are not going to be able to succeed – saving by restricting investment is a sure route to failure if it effects operation efficiency.