GEA is an enormous processing equipment group that includes previous independent processors such as Westfalia, Wiegand, APV Kestner and Niro from the days when I still worked in processing.
click the image to visit the website
This website is that of the separator, decanter and process line part of their business. It presents a wealth of general information on many beverage and dairy processes with links to their equipment pamphlets. Each process is described in detail with a process flowsheet.
While you might be tempted to dismiss this as a source of information because of it equipment supplier link, I believe the information is general enough and unbiased to be useful.
This Toolkit is online on the FAO’s INPhO website (International Network of Post Harvest Operations).
It is a comprehensive collection of information that could be used by a range of people from the new entrepreneur looking to understand fruit products and processors to a processors considering expansion into new products.
It is a comprehensive presentation covering a wide range of fruits, products and information. It is well illustrated with flowsheets and gives detailed information on processes. It presents recipes for different fruits and products and has a good list of references as well as a comprehensive list of equipment suppliers.
To me the only problem is that this information has to be consulted online, which is a problem for those users who don’t have suitable connectivity.
This is one more of those amazing sources of information that the INTERNET provides for free. In the past if you were lucky enough to know about it you could probably request a copy. Now you GOOGLE and FTP a PDF for free!
The manual is comprehensive, starting with some of the principles of preservation, moving into the different processes that are applicable (both from a process and a product viewpoint), covering hygiene and nutritional aspects and ending on recipes to be used with these processes.
This is a book you should put in your Technology Directory/Folder for the time you need some good technical information on fruit processing, whether it be for indigenous or other fruit.
I am in France for a few months and have already been surprised by a number of differences between South African and French food products. Some really nice and different products are on the shelves, many showing the deep commitment of the French to food and eating!
I intend blogging every now and again on a particular product or issue.
On my first visit to a supermarket I came across these apple juices packed in a longlife glass format that were novel and attractive.
A closer look at the front label shows that there are a range of juices, depending on apple variety that vary between doux (sweet) and tonique (sharp). The juices are clearly not totally clarified, have a natural colour and are packed in 1l bottles.
A look at the back label shows that these are pure pressed apple juices without added sugar, preservatives or colourants. Nature de Pomme state that there processing involve traceability and the application of quality control.
The obvious deposit in the bottles is explained as being a natural deposit which should be handled by shaking before opening.
This is obviously a premium quality product for the “natural” consumer, although it is not an organic product.
This interesting article from Food Science Central discusses the fact that many of the components of fruit that are looked for in higher value and healthy fruit juices are actually removed in the juice making process and end up in the waste. Examples are antioxidants that are concentrated in the skin and fibre and pectin which are concentrated in the cell wall. There appears to be little information on processes based on this information or proof of the benefit of such processes.
While this probably doesn’t seem like being immediately useful to the small scale processor, it maybe identifies the opportunity of introducing less refined juices to market segments which are aware of the health benefits of these components.
It also reminds me of the issue of food waste and its many facets which I am sure I will address with time.