Here is another story looking at product development focussing on premium products which avoid heat treatment in processing.
The BRIS process uses ambient temperature air which has been dried using heating and silica gel to a few percent relative humidity, in a counter current drying tower.
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This application by Naturex, a French company more focussed on natural ingredients for the food & beverage, nutrition and health and personal Care industries, is a first for them. The products main selling point appears to be their good organoleptic properties and their ease and quality of reconstitution.
Sometimes I expect more when I read. Headline like this one, probablyq because I am alive.
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Reading further this is a company that sells chlorine and sulphite based chemicals for fruit and vegetable rinsing. They now offer a service based on analysing the untreated water and developing a custom dosage regime for the factory's particular circumstances.
I would have thought that the chemical dosage is normally done on site using trial and error, but it makes publicity and marketing sense.
Over the years I have seen many attempts, and been involved in some myself, where there has been an attempt to introduce vegetable production in resource poor communities. This one – The African Market Garden (AMG) seems to address a number of the problems I saw and refreshingly provides some hard information on costs and incomes.
This is a useful 40 page document from a USAID project. What is interesting about the document is that it addresses two levels, the overall GMP & HACCP process and suggestions on how to introduce them as well as the detailed information on design, finishes, practices, conditions of processing plants that all require attention.
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.
So now we need to grow our vegetables under cover to stop “the critters” soiling them and effecting our health?
from: The Packer (click image for full story online)
Reminds me of the reaction when you suggest sun drying to someone as an appropriate technology. The immediate reaction is “but what about the safety” not realising the majority of the worlds dried fruit is sun dried.
Which in turn illustrates the marketers “skill” to have come up with the natural sun dried concept to the upper income shoppers at Woolworths, five years ago.
The value chain is a recent formalised system for evaluating and understanding the issues up stream and downstream of a food processing operation that can effect its viability. An example of a value chain from Cambodia is given below.
The full article presents information on process, technology and equipment in tabular form.
I am interested in how this type of “technology” which every successful business had mastered during its development becomes formalised and then becomes a buzzword that is widely used but seldom impactfuly implemented. It becomes a kind of tick the box issue that all projects should have but few utilise innovatively.
This is mainly hurdle technology where shelf stability is achieved by a combination of processes and ingredients rather than a single one. The focus is on water activity rather than moisture and allows the production of more sophisticated shelf stable foods that the traditional sun dried vegetable. The contents of the manual below gives an idea of its breadth and depth.
CHAPTER 1 FRUITS AND VEGETABLES: AN OVERVIEW ON
SOCIO-ECONOMICALAND TECHNICAL ISSUES 3
1.1 Trade and global trends: Fruits and vegetables 3
1.2 Traditional consumption 4
1.3 Economic and social impact 4
1.4 Commercial constraints 5
1.5 Post-harvest losses and resource under-utilization in developing countries 6
1.6 Pre-processing to add value 8
1.7 Pre-processing to avoid losses 8
1.8 Alternative processing methods for fruits and vegetables in rural areas 8
CHAPTER 2 BASIC HARVEST AND POST-HARVEST HANDLING
CONSIDERATIONS FOR FRESH FRUITS AND VEGETABLES 19
2.1 Harvest handling 19
2.1.4 Packing in the field and transport to packinghouse 26
2.2 Post-harvest handling 29
2.2.1 Curing of roots, tubers, and bulb crops 29
2.2.2 Operations prior to packaging 30
2.2.3 Packaging 31
2.2.4 Cooling methods and temperatures 33
2.2.5 Storage 35
2.2.6 Pest control and decay 37
CHAPTER 3 GENERAL CONSIDERATIONS FOR PRESERVATION OF FRUITS AND VEGETABLES 39
3.1 Water Activity (aw) concept and its role in food preservation 39
3.2 Intermediate Moisture Foods (IMF) concept 44
3.3 Combined methods for preservation of fruits and vegetables: a preservation concept 46
CHAPTER 4 EXTENSION OF THE INTERMEDIATE MOISTURE CONCEPT TO HIGH MOISTURE PRODUCTS 55
4.1 Preliminary operations 56
4.2 Desired aw and syrup formulation 57
4.3 Example of application 60
4.4 Packaging methods for minimally processed products 74
4.5 Transport, storage and use of fruits preserved by combined methods 75
4.6 Quality control 79
CHAPTER 5 PROCEDURES FOR VEGETABLES PRESERVED BY COMBINED METHODS 83
5.1 Preliminary operations 83
5.2 Combined optional treatments 86
5.3 Packaging methods 91
5.4 Transport, storage and use of vegetables preserved by combined methods 92
5.5 Quality control 95
The manual can be read online or downloaded as pdf files for each chapter.
Is this really a new technology? too often I’ve read about the next new drying technology but the changes haven’t been significant for many years. At the end of the day that cost is a major issue where many new technologies have failed.
This Technical Bulletin from Practical Action gives details on drying, milling and packaging chillies.
The bulletin gives information on both solar drying which works well in dry weather and other dryers than can be used when the humidity is higher.
The article can be viewed in text format online and can be downloaded as a pdf document with pictures. To download one needs to register, but their is no charge.
The article includes the contact details of two dryer suppliers, but they are both in India. This is an issue I think we could try and address – the supply of up to date and more comprehensive lists of suppliers.