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close this bookFood Chain No. 21 - July 1997 (ITDG, 1997, 20 p.)
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View the documentSuccess in business - advice from a successful businessman
View the documentA profitable and sustainable small-scale food processing activity
View the documentSmall-scale equipment

A profitable and sustainable small-scale food processing activity

In addition to the food processing department the centre has workshops which are well equipped with facilities ideal for carrying out training in metal working and building materials.

The Centre for Informal Sector Promotion (CISP) grew out of a project funded by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) for the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania. The centre has been in existence since 1992. CISP is heavily involved in training in technical and business management, marketing, consultancy and counselling acquisition and involvement in technology fairs.

The food processing department organizes and conducts four to six week training courses for groups of informal sector operators in baking, fruit and vegetable preservation, fish processing, oil seed processing as well as food vendors. These areas were selected after a market study showed clearly that they had potential for generating income and employment. In addition to the food processing department the centre has workshops which are well equipped with facilities ideal for carrying out training in metal working and building materials.

I recently had an enquiry from Susan Wasike of Kenya Environmental Organization on the manufacturing of hot mango pickle. In fact Susan was a fellow participant in the FOODNET meeting that took place in Stuttgart from 25-26 April 1996, to examine strategies for promoting small-scale food processing enterprises in Africa. I thought it was worthwhile to share the information I sent to her with fellow readers of Food Chain. What follows is the basic information for anyone who wants to enter into this business.


The basic raw material for manufacturing Hot Mango Pickle is brined mango. Normally I advise the use of green mangoes and these should be of recommended varieties. The best here are the dodo (heart shaped), mvringo and zafarani (roundish shape). Very fibrous varieties are not recommended.

Having selected the variety of your choice I recommend washing the mangoes in water containing a few drops of potassium permanganate solution for good hygiene, with final rinsing in plain water. With a sharp knife, preferably stain less steel, cut off the bud and then chop the mangoes into thin slices making sure the slices contain skin.

Weigh the sliced green mangoes and place them in a container. For every 20kg of mangoes, add 4kg of rock salt which is equivalent to 20 per cent of the sliced mangoes. Mix the salt in thoroughly with a wooden spoon. Transfer the mixture into a clean plastic drum, cover the drum with an airtight material such as plastic sheet and seal with a lid, making sure that the seal is airtight because the fermentation must take place in the absence of oxygen. This is called an anaerobic fermentation.

Fermentation, caused by lactic acid bacteria that ferment the sugars present in the mangoes will now take place, and after about five weeks you may open and take out the sliced mango. They should be soft with a characteristic flavour of lactic acid. They are now ready for pickle manufacturing.

First wash the brined mangoes with water to bring salt levels to an edible and acceptable level. Five or six washings may he required until the taste is correct. I tend to make batches of 24kg hut the choice will depend to some extent on the size of pans you have. The following additives and ingredients are required for 24kg hatch size:

Cooking oil 4 litres
Hot chilli powder 1kg
Fenugreek 500g
Mustard 500g
Asafoetida 100g
Turmeric powder 1kg
Vinegar 2.5 litres
Sodium benzoate 24g

The following points should he noted:

· The cooking oil should be brought to the boil. Be very careful of fire.

· I recommend the use of powdered chill) which is easy to mix in evenly.

· The fenugreek should be cleaned, discarding all unwanted material from the seeds. If dust is present then winnow the dirt out. The cleaned fenugreek seeds are then tied up in a muslin cloth and immersed in the cooking oil that is boiling on the stove.

This fries the seeds, after which they can be milled or ground into a fine powder using a pestle and mortar.

· Mustard seed should also be cleaned and then ground.

· Asafoetida is a special spice sold in powder form or in solid lumps. The powder form is more convenient.

· Turmeric powder is widely available in stores

Locally available vinegar is often of suspect strength and I suggest you should make a 5 per cent vinegar from glacial acetic acid (food grade). Spiced vinegar adds flavour so try enriching the vinegar with different spices like cinnamon, cardamon and cloves


All the above ingredients are mixed with the brined mangoes. Add the preservative and again mix well.


The product is filled into clean, sterile glass jars using a sterile spoon after which hot oil is poured on the top of the product to prevent the entry of air. Check the net weight and adjust as needed, cap and label. Remember the label should meet local requirements; normally net weight, ingredients in order of quantity and name and address of the producer.

I wish you success, and hope the product is popular in your market.

By: Mustafa S. Mushi, Head, Food Processing Dept. Centre for Informal Sector Promotion (CISP), PO Box 186, Moshi, Tanzania


The postharvest newsletter is a collaborative effort between the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and the Gesellschaft fur Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ), to promote and exchange ideas on postharvest research, technology development, training and commercial enterprise activities in Africa. The newsletter is a free document which aims to provide a simple, informal medium for exchange of information in the form of results, ideas, comments and news from the postharvest sector. In issue 1, the newsletter provides detailed information on new equipment for casava processing, assesses the value of grain hanks and outlines future research priorities. There is a news and views section which debates ideas/strategies and provides recent articles from the press on new commercial innovations. A notice-board section provides information on conferences, courses and sources for more information. Organisations, research institutes, projects and companies involved in postharvest are invited to contribute to this newsletter.

For more details please contact: S Ferris, Editor, Postharvest Systems, IITA, PMB, Ibadan, Oyo
State, Nigeria, Email: IITA - or

A Bell, GTZ, OE 42432, PO Box 5180, 65726 Eschborn, Germany. Fax: 0049-6196-79741, Email: