Tag Archives: Vegetables

Gentle Drying of Fruit and Vegetable Purees in a BIRS Spray Dryer.

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.

click the image to visit the website

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.

 

Bespoke Fruit & Vegetable Washing Solutions?

Sometimes I expect more when I read. Headline like this one, probablyq because I am alive.

click the image to visit the website

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.

The Manual on Home-based Fruit and Vegetable Processing – Free Online Information

This is probably the best technical information I have seen aimed at the training of small scale vegetable and fruit processors. The first book covers the principles of post-harvest handling, storage and processing of fruits and vegetables while the second provides recipes and guidance to put these principles into practice.

 click image for free acces to these books

The books We’re developed for trainers working with household processors in Afghanistan, but the information is so comprehensive that it will be useful for a range of users including the new small scale food processing enterprise.

The first book of 85 pages covers the following in detail, using a clear and simple style supported by many photographs and drawings.

INTRODUCTION 

WHY DO WE NEED TO PROCESS FRUIT AND VEGETABLES? 

POST-HARVEST HANDLING AND STORAGE

PROCESSING: INTRODUCTION TO GENERAL PRINCIPLES 

  • Principles of food preservation 
  • Overview of fruit and vegetable processing techniques
  • Summary of small-scale fruit and vegetable processing techniques
  • Processing pre-treatments for fruit and vegetables 
  • Description of processing methods for fruit and vegetables  

POST PROCESSING PACKAGING AND STORAGE

HYGIENE AND SAFETY

The second book of around 90 pages covers the detail of producing a whole range of products as listed below from the table of contents:

DRYING

  • Processing outline for dried fruit and vegetable
  • Dried tomato 
  • Dried apricots
  • Dried onions
  • Dried apples

JAM-MAKING 

  • Processing outline for Jam and Jelly 
  • Fruit jam or jelly – process details and quality 
  • Apricot jam
  • Carrot and lemon jam
  • Cherry jam
  • Mulberry jam
  • Apple jam
  • Apple jelly

SAUCES AND CHUTNEYS

  • Processing outline for sauce and chutney
  • Sauce and chutney – process details and quality assurance
  • Italian style tomato sauce
  • Italian style tomato sauce
  • Tomato paste
  • Tomato sauce or ketchup
  • Tomato puree or simple concentrate
  • Tomato concentrate (non-cook method) 
  • Coriander chutney (chatni gashnizeh)
  • Vegetable chutney
  • Tomato chutney (Chatni Badenjani Romi)
  • Chili chutney (Chatni Morchi Sorkh/Sabz )

PICKLES

  • Processing outline for lactic acid fermented pickles (atchar)
  • Fermented pickles – process details and quality assurance
  • Pickled cucumbers
  • Mixed pickles
  • Pumpkin pickle 

VINEGAR

  • Process outline for fruit and vinegar
  • Fruit vinegar – quality assurance and processing notes
  • Tomato vinegar
  • Mulberry vinegar

If you have any interest in processing vegetables and fruit, these books are really highly recommended.

The African Market/Solar Garden

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.

A System of Horticulture Production Based on Irrigation and the Minimisation of Running Costs

from: MASHAV
(click image for full story online)

The model seems to be most often attributed to ICRISAT but is being developed in a number of areas by organisations including Stanford & Ben Gurion Universities, MASAV, CIGAR and AVRDC.

In a sense its a very simple blending of simple technologies to provide a solution that matches the needs and circumstances of the poor farmers involved.

  • drip irrigation to minimise the amount of water required
  • the optimisation of production through crop selection and training
  • the balancing of household use and sale for income
  • solar energy to eliminate running costs such as electricity or diesel
  • an affordable capital cost

No new technology in that! just implementation!

The question is how have so many projects, which presented similar simple models, not managed to succeed – I believe its the commitment and dedication of the right people.

Some links to other stories:

ICRISAT The African Market Garden – Advanced Horticulture for the Poor

African Market Garden in the Sahel

Solar Market Garden

Solar Electric Light Fund: Projects: Benin

GMP & HACCP In Fruit & Vegetable Processing

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.

 

http___pdf.usaid.gov_pdf_docs_PNADR843.pdf.jpg

from: USAID
(click image for full story online)

 

The table of contents clarifies the scope of the report.

http___pdf.usaid.gov_pdf_docs_PNADR843.pdf-1.jpg

 

Ugandan Study Of The Effect of Drying on Nutritional Content of Vegetables

This study in the African Journal of Nutrition, Agriculture and Development (AJFAND), clearly shows, as would be expected, the loss in Vitamin A and C was the highest, while the crude protein content measured by a Kjeldahl method fell more than the minerals and fibre which one would not expect to be directly effected by drying.

http___www.ajfand.net_Issue35_PDFs_Kiremire3180.pdf.jpg

from: AJFAND
(click image for full story online)

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.

 

 

Overdoing Food Quality? – Musings

So now we need to grow our vegetables under cover to stop “the critters” soiling them and effecting our health?

 

Greenhouse growers push food safety message | The Packer.jpg

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.

Who Really Uses Value Chains?

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.

 

Evernote-1.jpg

from: Agro Biz Cambodia
(click image for full story online)

 

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.

Maybe thats too cynical but why not tell me what you think?

 

Combined Preservation Methods – Free Technology Information

Here’s another one of those amazing FAO books. Although its focussed on rural processing it presents technologies that can produce products the equal of large industry.

 

Handling and Preservation of Fruits and Vegetables by Combined Methods for Rural Areas.jpg

from: FAO
(click image for full story online)

 

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.

 

New Food Drying Technology?

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.

 

New food dehydration kit delivers “revolutionary” benefits.jpg

from: Food Production Daily
(click image for full story online)

 

This seems to work on a combination of microwave heating and pressure to control the structure of the material in some kind of “black box” technology.

However the claims of the manufacturer EnWave Corporation of Canada that

compared with the industry standard, freeze drying technology, the new equipment cuts processing time to minutes rather than hours or days, cuts energy use by one third and capital costs by one sixth

make the equipment interesting.

The fact that the equipment is sold with a royalty income stream is also indicative of the company’s commitment to the technology.