After the previous post which showed an industrial baking operation, here are a few videos that show smaller scale baking. The first is a slightly mechanised bakery that is producing standard non industrial breads.
The next video is of a small artisinal bakery – these are becoming popular where health, environment and simplicity are traits that consumers are willing to pay more for.
The third video, published on YouTube by Vincent Talleu, shows his love for the tactile aspects of baking.
Please let me know if you find these videos useful or merely a waste of bandwidth and I will adjust my posting appropriately.
If your community has large areas of cultivated cactus pears or if it is a good climate for cactus pears but little is grown, this manual could be of real value to you.
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This 150 page manual with 13 pages of reference, will surely give you all you need to know about the utilisation of cactus pear. You can then build your business by integrating this information with you knowledge of your community using you entrepreneurial skills.
A quick scan through the chapters of the manual illustrates the breadth and detail of the information.
The manual is available for free download, however, if you have problems please email me and I will make sure you get a copy.
Small scale farmers in rural areas with a a few cows can easily produce more milk than their family consumes, opening the opportunity to earn income by selling milk. However climate, lack of reliable energy and long distances make this an unreliable business. Introducing standard fresh milk handling technology does not work because of the costs are too high, the quantities too low and energy too unreliable. Other solutions such as increasing shelf life with fermented products and introducing the Lactoperoxidase System have there place but there is real demand for fresh milk.
This new system being introduced by Promethean Power could change this.
click the image to open an online story
This is a mechanically simple system that is powered by local electrical supply which does not need to be consistent or reliable. Whenever electricity is available it is used to “charge” a thermal storage system, the system is then used to cool milk whenever it is available.
The thermal storage system consists of a cylindrical stainless steel tank, containing an unspecified phase change chemical in a heat transfer fluid. When electricity is available it is used to refrigerate the tank, freezing the chemical which absorbs large quantities of energy as it changes phase.
The simplicity of the system lies in the design of what they have termed the Rapid Milk Chiller. The milk is distributed on the top of the stainless steel tank, it flows over the total surface of the tank and is thereby cooled quickly. With gravity transferring the milk there are no pumps, pipes and controls which would complicate maintenance, be difficult to clean and require electricity.
There is also the potential to use any other alternative energy source e.g. solar, wind, biogas and biomass which can be converted into electricity.
I like the idea and look forward to hearing about how it works out in practice.
This simple description outlines the process and equipment used in the commercial production of potato crisps.
click image to see article
If you are interested in the smaller scale production of potato crisps as the basis for a household business, Practical Action publish a Technical Brief
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This is a detailed article that provides a lot of useful information and also has contact details for Practical Action who are specifically experienced in small scale businesses with a developmental side.
Over the next while there will probably be a number of posts showing that smaller alternatives to the multinational food companies, are where growth is happening at present. An interesting question is does this also bring the “try it quickly and fail” approach used in the computing industry to the Food Industry?
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Here again we have the demonstration that the US brewing industry has moved from supplying only the bland beer that was the consequence of centralisation and wide distribution. The consumer really wants more interesting, flavoursome local beers whose brewing value chain can unluckily (luckily actually) not be scaled up in the multinational brewing system.
This rather old book by The Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) of the United Nations has an interesting, very detailed and clear section on post harvest and processing technology for food security.
<P style=”text-align:center;”><font size=”-2″>click the image to visit the website</font></p>
Neither the age ( published 14 year ago ) nor the fact that it focusses on small scale and household processing distract from the usefulness of the information.
Another in the series which simply links to the websites of Food Processing Companies in Africa. It is hoped that the industry can benefit from a knowledge of who’s doing what – either through the establishment of new businesses or through trading.
Coast Coconut producers a “virgin” coconut oil by using small scale processing at the farmer rather than the traditional method of producing copra which is exported to a regional factor for oil extraction.
While this seems not to yet be a sustainable enterprise, it will be interesting to watch its development. The small scale technology is attractive because some 90% of the world’s coconuts are grown by small farmers.
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.