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close this book Food Chain - Number 22 - January 1998
View the document Contents
View the document Greetings
View the document Research notes - utilisation of tomato processing by-products
View the document Shea nut processing - possibilities and problems in the choice of technology for women
View the document Booklines
View the document Weaning foods
View the document Latin America pages
View the document Coconut processing in the Mekong delta
View the document Asia pages

Food Chain - Number 22 - January 1998

A journal about small-scale food processing

INTERMEDIATE TECHNOLOGY

Intermediate Technology enables poor people in the Third World to develop and use technologies and methods which give them more control over their lives and which contribute to the long-term development of their communities.

Contributions on all food processing related matters are invited for future issues of Food Chain.

ADDRESS

Intermediate Technology,

Myson House, Railway Terrace,

Rugby, CV21 3HT, UK.

Tel: 017X8 560631 Fax: 01788 540270

E-mail: annw@itdg.org.uk

http://www.oneworld.org/itdg

Food Chain is part funded by the UK DFID.

We are also grateful to the workers and management of Unicorn Grocery - a wholefood co-operative committed to sustainable and fair trade, who have kindly donated a percentage of pay and profits to help finance this publication.

Editor/Production Manager: Ann Watts

Technical Editor: Barrie Axtell

Typeset by My Word! and printed by Neil Terry Printing on environmentally friendly paper.

Intermediate Technology Development Group Ltd.

Company Reg. No. 871954, England. Reg. Charity No. 247257.

ISSN 0964-5810

 

 

Contents

Greetings

Research notes - utilisation of tomato processing by-products

Shea nut processing - possibilities and problems in the choice of technology for women

Booklines

Weaning foods

Latin America pages

Coconut processing in the Mekong delta

Asia pages

 

 

Greetings

Any further information can be obtained by writing to Mr G. Nlaiadakis, Department of Chemical Engineering, National Technical University of Athens, 5 Heroon Polytechniou St., 15780 Zografou, Athens, Greece.

This issue of Food Chain brings you an exciting new feature - the Latin America pages -which result from the requests of readers in this region. In similar style to the Asia pages, these pages provide a platform for readers from Latin America to share their experiences of food processing with other readers of Food Chain. Our colleagues in IT Peru currently produce a Spanish version of Food Chain- Cadena Alimentaria - which is circulated within Latin America. To date, Cadena Alimentaria has taken relevant material from the English version of Food Chain and translated it into Spanish to produce three editions. These three editions have aroused a great deal of interest amongst readers, who have requested more editions and more material and ideas from outside the Latin American region. In future, IT Peru will translate all editions of Food Chain in parallel with the English version which will make the journal more accessible to many of our readers.

An extensive network of organisations involved in rural agro-industry throughout Latin America - PRODAR - has been established over the last ten years. This network will be used both to collect experiences and ideas for publication in Food Chain and for distribution of the journal. The Latin America pages are your vehicle for sharing project information with an audience of over 20,000 readers around the world. The success of the pages depends on inputs from yourselves. Please send any material which is informative and will be of use to other readers to our office in Peru. You may write in Spanish or English. Please address your material to Daniel Rodriguez, Agro Processing Programme Manager, IT Peru, Casilla Postal 18-0620, Lima 18, Peru. Tel 511 446 7324/4447055/447-5127. Fax 511 446 6621. E-mail: danielr@itdg.org.pe.

As always we hope that you find the information within these pages both useful and interesting. If you know anyone who would find Food Chain useful and would like to receive it, please write giving their names and addresses.

Wishing you all a happy, peaceful and prosperous new year.

 

 

Research notes - utilisation of tomato processing by-products

Food processing generally creates byproducts and waste materials. In many cases the by-products are unusable and their accumulation and/or disposal leads to environmental problems. Utilisation of the waste products is therefore attractive, especially if they are transformed into a product with a high market value.

A research group at the National Technical University of Athens is investigating the use of tomato waste products to form a protein rich concentrate which can be fed to animals or used as a food supplement in traditional foods.

The waste products of tomato - the skin and seeds - account for up to 38% of the raw fruit weight. The seeds are a good source of protein (15-22%) and oil (15-20%). In addition, they do not appear to contain anti-nutritional factors.

The methods used for extracting protein from the waste involve acid and alkali extractions. They require a stainless steel extraction tank, a centrifuge and a drier. To be economically feasible, they require a substantial supply of tomato waste products.

The first method of extracting protein involves removal of the oil which, after refining, can he used as an edible oil. After sun drying the waste, the skins are removed and the resulting seed meal is made alkaline (pH 11.5) and heated to 500°C. The mixture is then made acidic (pH 3.9) which causes the protein to precipitate. The extract is centrifuged to produce a tomato concentrate of more than 70% protein.

The second method does not involve removal of the oil. The extraction method is the same, but the product has a different composition - 28% oil and 47% protein.

The high-protein tomato concentrate has a deep red colour and can be used in a number of traditional dishes which contain tomatoes. It has also been used in sausages and other meat products, dairy products. snacks and also to fortify bread.

 

 

Shea nut processing - possibilities and problems in the choice of technology for women

Shea butter also has an export market for use in cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and confectionery.

The role of women in technology is a topic of great interest to many working in rural development. Many periodicals have published special editions on the subject with specific emphasis on improved working conditions for women. The UNIFEM Food Cycle Technology Manuals describe technology alternatives for small-scale processing of various commodities and illustrate their application through case studies However, it is often difficult to find a suitable solution for a particular group of women. This article by Domien Bruinsma not only illustrates the complexity of the problems involved, but also points to the opportunities that exist in the selection of technology, based on a case study of shea nut processing.

Very often, insufficient basic information is available to allow the evaluation of all possible technological alternatives, so making it difficult to meet the specific needs and demands of women involved in a particular activity. Sometimes, a technology which appears to be appropriate, will be too expensive and of too great a capacity to be profitable and manageable by a group of women. On analysis, two distinct problem areas can be identified. The first relates to the processing capacity of the equipment which, to run profitably, requires the processing of a minimum amount of raw material. Not only does raw material of the correct quality have to be available in sufficient quantities, but also a market has to exist for the final product. Secondly, technical requirements and maintenance activities frequently demand business management skills which often exceed the women's capabilities. The introduction of technology therefore needs to be closely monitored and supported.

Clearly then, the selection of an appropriate technological solution is a complex problem. To arrive at an appropriate choice, it is essential to include those requesting the technology in both a socioeconomic and technical evaluation of the alternatives available.

THE IMPORTANCE OF SHEA

The shea tree (Butyrospermum parkii) grows abundantly in semi-arid areas of west Africa. Countries with the highest density of shea trees are Mali, Burkina Faso, Togo, Benin, Nigeria and the Sudan. Each tree can produce on average 15 to 20kg of fresh fruit, which yield 3 to 4kg of dry kernels. The kernel contains 42-48% oil of a relatively high melting point. Extraction of this oil provides an edible shea butter which is used in cooking.

Shea butter is the main source of fat in the rural zones where it is produced. It is used in food, soap manufacture, traditional drugs and cosmetic products. It has also long been used for lighting and although the use of kerosene lamps is increasing, shea oil lamps are still commonly used. Shea butter also has an export market for use in cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and confectionery.

While almost all rural women in shea areas harvest and store the fruit at the beginning of the rainy season, the methods they use for storing and preparing the nuts vary from region to region. Harvesting, preparation and storage are carried out by individuals, but processing is more often a group activity and, according to local customs, it is organised at family or group level. During the dry season, the women typically spend two days a week on butter production either for family use or for sale in the market.

The pre-treatment drying and pounding differ from one region to another and this can have a considerable influence on the final butter quality.

BUTTER PRODUCTION

The production of shea butter is part of village tradition. During processing the women sing and clap their hands for encouragement. This is necessary because the work is arduous. Typically the process involves the following steps. First the nuts are dried and shelled and the kernels removed. The kernels are then crushed and the crushed material, called grits, is roasted in a pot over a fire. The women then pound the roasted grits in a mortar producing a coarse paste. This is then finely ground between two stones to produce a smooth, reddish brown paste, which is put into a large container. Water is added and the mass is churned manually until the butter floats and becomes a whitish colour. The butter is separated and is washed repeatedly with warm water. It is then placed in a pot and heated to evaporate any remaining water. During this last step any fibrous impurities settle at the bottom of the pot. The liquid butter is collected in a container where, upon cooling, it solidifies. The pre-treatment drying and pounding differ from one region to another and this can have a considerable influence on the final butter quality. The actual extraction procedures also vary and nowadays mechanical milling, churning and pressing are becoming more common.

There are several stages where mechanisation and improvement of the process would he possible. This article describes different improved technologies which have been tested by development projects. All are intended to reduce the most arduous and dirtiest tasks; manual pounding, grinding and churning. In some cases the use of mechanical presses to extract oil has been chosen. In others pounding has been replaced by power milling followed by traditional manual churning. Other systems also mechanise the churning process. The five alternatives evaluated in this article are summarised below:

1) Many villages now have a private or community mill which can replace traditional pounding and grinding.

2) In Ghana, a small engineering company, 'SIS Engineering,' has developed a mechanical churning and washing machine with co-operation from the GRATIS project (Ghana Regional Appropriate Technology Industrial Service).

3) In Mali another extraction system, the Mockarite, involves the use of a centrifuge to replace churning and washing.

4) Two types of press, a spindle press and a hydraulic press, have been tested and distributed in Burkina Faso and Mali to replace all processing steps from pounding to washing.

5) A manually turned roaster has been developed to replace the traditional pot over a fire method.

Table 1 summarises each of these alternatives compared with the traditional system and shows indicative time savings. About one hundred hydraulic presses have been installed, mainly in Mali, and over twenty spindle presses in Burkina Faso. Three Mockarite machines are operating in Mali and about twenty SIS Engineering machines in north Ghana.

Table 1

Method

A

B

C

D

E

F

 

Traditional

Mill

SIS Eng

Mockarite

Spindle Press

Hydraulic Press

Total time (mine) to process 10kg shea kernels

516

219

117

87

232

192

Time saved over method A

-

58%

77%

83%

55%

63%

Capacity - kg per day

-

400

260

420

125

125

Capital cost CFA

-

1,100

988

5,030

596

996

Break-even tonnes/annum

-

30-40

50

50

17

25

Days operation for break even

-

75-100

200

120

140

200

COMPARISON OF THE DIFFERENT METHODS

An important claim of the mechanised alternatives is that they reduce processing time. Various information sources have been used to calculate the duration of the different operations shown in Table 1. For the traditional method, the mill and the spindle press information is used from the Karite Shea project in Koudougou, Burkina Faso. Sources of information about the Mockarite are CMDT (Compagnie Malienne de Development des Textiles) and CEPAZE (Centre d'Echanges et Promotion des Artisans en Zones a Equiper, Paris). GRATIS information is used for SIS Engineering equipment. In order to compare the different processes we need to examine each in a little more detail and the assumptions that have been made.

In methods B. E and F. crushing is carried out using a manual crusher developed by the shea project. This machine resembles that used to shell groundnuts. In the SIS system, (method C) - a motor driven mill is used to grind the kernels. All the systems are based on the use of a manual rotary roaster, except for the SIS machine which uses the traditional cooking pot. When using the spindle press (E), rotary roasters are replaced by solar ovens which provide sufficient pre-treatment. It has been found that the hydraulic press requires slightly less labour than the spindle press.

The traditional system of boiling, purifying and decanting to clarify the butter, is used throughout without any improvements. For the purpose of the calculations, it is assumed that the product obtained before purification is similar in all cases. In fact, there are slight differences in quality at this stage. For example, the Mockarite provides a clearer product.

It has been noted that women in certain villages, who know that their nuts are of a poor quality, are prepared to wait a long time to use the press.

BENEFITS OF IMPROVED TECHNOLOGIES

All these improved technologies yield higher quantities of butter than the traditional method (35-42% compared to 25 - 28%). However, if compared to large-scale processing the yields are low. One positive aspect of the presses is that it is possible to obtain butter from nuts which could not be used in the traditional method. It has been noted that women in certain villages, who know that their nuts are of a poor quality, are prepared to wait a long time to use the press. Interestingly other women with nuts of a good quality tend to use the traditional method rather than waste time waiting.

An attempt was made to compare the technologies in economic terms by including investment costs, processing capacity and the reduction of the time women have to spend on processing. In this respect, a SIS Engineering machine or a mill is the most efficient. The Mockarite, despite giving the greatest reduction in workload, is the most expensive option. However, this kind of economic evaluation is over-simplistic and should not be used as the sole measure of a system.

There are differences in quality depending on the method used, but to make comparison simpler, this aspect has not been evaluated. The concept of 'task difficulty' also needs to be considered. For example, presses reduce the amount of work but still involve heavy manual operations. The type of physical movements required to operate the two types of presses are very different and so are rated differently. In general, women find it more difficult to operate a hydraulic press than a spindle press.

To date, operating costs have not been included in the calculations, but clearly for all motorised procedures the cost of diesel has to be taken into account. The Mockarite and the SIS Engineering machine have the greatest fuel consumption. On the other hand, the reduction in wood and water consumption has to be offset against diesel costs. The greatest savings in wood use are noted when using the Mockarite and to a lesser extent, presses. Ease of operation and maintenance are other factors requiring consideration. In Mali, for example, the majority of the hydraulic presses are no longer in use due to problems maintaining the hydraulic jack. Spindle presses appear to be both easier to use and maintain.

Finally, a very important consideration is the minimum throughput required to run the equipment profitably, in addition to the complexity of the technology, together with its management and maintenance requirements. There is insufficient data available to calculate a precise break-even point for each process. All five systems have different costs and different daily throughput. Whilst the spindle press is the cheapest system, it has the lowest throughput. Whereas although the motorised mill is expensive, it has a much higher throughput rate and can he used to mill other crops. The break-even point is probably lowest for the spindle press (around 17 tons of nuts/year, corresponding to 140 days operation/year). The hydraulic press has a break-even capacity of 25 tons/year, i.e. 200 days of production. For this reason it is only economic if other oilseeds are processed. The break-even point for mills is generally between 30 to 40 tons/year and they need to be in operation for 75 to 100 days. The advantage of mills however, is that they can be used to mill cereals when shea is not available. The Mockarite has a break-even point of about 50 tons/year and must be operational for 120 days, with the possibility of being used as a cereal mill as well. For the SIS Engineering machine, the figures are probably about the same, hut this means that it needs to be in operation for 200 days and probably also needs to be used to process other oilseeds and/or to mill cereals.

The advantage of mills however, is that they can be used to mill cereals when shea is not available. Any companison of the methods will only be valid if it is carried out with the target group and takes into account their particular circumstances.

EVALUATION WITH THE WOMEN

Any comparison of the methods will only be valid if it is carried out with the target group and takes into account their particular circumstances. The women should compare for themselves the advantages and disadvantages of the various alternatives, as well as the organisational aspects of the business activity. It is extremely important that information is exchanged with other villages and that their equipment is tried out during visits between villages. It was demonstrated how important women were during the development stage of the SIS Engineering machine for churning. Their observations with regard to yield and butter quality are extremely important. The women know best how to judge the quality and yield of the end product by the traditional method and this knowledge is handed down from mother to daughter from one generation to the next. They also understand the market requirements and opportunities. For this reason, it is important to communicate with the women producing the butter to discuss any new technology. Finally, women can give an estimate of the economic value of the investment in terms of time saved and the reduction of arduous work. In this way women can indicate what price they would be willing to pay for the labour reduction achieved.

In conclusion, it is not a simple matter to evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of a particular type of technology. The best option may vary from one situation to another. For example, a large wealthy village which already owns a mill, may well decide to purchase a second mill exclusively for processing shea, but driven from the existing motor. A village with no mill, but with sufficient purchasing power, may opt for either a Mockarite or a SIS Engineering machine. The quantity of shea, available and the amount of organisational experience at village level will also influence choices. A village which does not have the purchasing power to run a mill profitably, or for motorisation in general, but with sufficient shea, could consider the acquisition of a spindle press. The most important point is to involve the women processors and allow them to genuinely gain experience with the technology and to have sufficient time to come to a decision. Finally, it is essential to choose a system of ownership and management which will allow the project to survive.

This article was kindly sent in by Domien Bruinsma, Gruttoweide 119, 6708 BE Wageningen, The Netherlands. Any readers requiring further information should contact the author.

 

 

Booklines

FOOD INDUSTRIES MANUAL - 24TH EDITION

Edited by M.D. Ranken, R.C. Kill and C.J.G. Baker. Published by Blackie A&P. ISBN 0-7514-0404-7

This large hook with over 600 pages is a standard food industry reference work that should he available in the libraries of universities and institutions involved in food processing. Early editions read rather like a dictionary hut this new revised edition has 19 chapters each dealing with a main product group. Each chapter starts with a general product flow chart, which is then covered in detail. This hook is easy to use with technical aspects simply and clearly described. The Dairy Products flow chart is shown as an example.

TRADITIONAL FOODS: PROCESSING FOR PROFIT

Edited by Peter Fellows and published by IT Publications. ISBN 1 85339 228 6. 1997 £25. Available from IT Publications. Reviewed by Dr Nigel Poulter, Crop Post-Harvest Programme Manager, Natural Resources Institute, Chatham Maritime, Kent, UK.

This book aims to provide small-scale processors and development workers in tropical regions of the world with basic information on the science of food processing and safety, together with ideas for new or improved products in which they may wish to invest their efforts. The first and shorter section of the hook deals with all important basic concepts of effective processing, including the principles of quality assurance, product handling and food safety. The second and larger section provides details of the production stages and key points of interest for a very diverse range of products which could he prepared from the crops, livestock and fish that may he found in these tropical regions. Finally, the hook provides a short list of appropriate references for further reading which could serve as sources of additional technical and bussiness advice.

Over 95 product and processing profiles, drawn up from around the world, form the main hulk of the hook. These range from rich fruit cake, beer and breadfruit oil, through tomato paste and papain to popped sorghum, dried cinnamon and salted fish. The concept developed by the editor in providing descriptions for this very diverse range of products has been to raise awareness among the readership of the options and variations that exist for them to diversify and to exploit market opportunities for quality assured products. This is most certainly a worthy concept and the hook will stimulate readers to think more widely about their enterprises and experiment with new product ideas. It is to the editor's credit that he has drawn together profiles from around the world and been able to bring to us this valuable text based on the practical experiences of his consultant authors.


fig.1

 

 

Weaning foods

It is possible to make improved weaning foods from local raw materials based on well understood, traditional, simple, low cost technologies.

The weaning period, from around 4-6 months until 2 years of age, is a critical period of a child's life when it is most at risk from malnutrition and disease. Adequate nutrition at this stage of life is reflected by physical and mental development and achievement in later life.

Weaning is the stage when an infant moves from a diet consisting exclusively of breast milk to one which resembles that of adults in the community. The transition generally takes place over 18 months, with breast milk making an ever decreasing contribution to the diet. The introduction of other foods into the diet, is often linked to an increased ingestion of food poisoning organisms that result in sickness and diarrhorea. In some societies additional foods are introduced into the diet earlier than 4 months of age but there is no nutritional requirement for this as breast milk alone is adequate until this age; furthermore, the practice its harmful and simply exposes the infant to contaminated water and food.

For a number of reasons infants are often weaned directly onto the adult diet with little or no consideration for their specific dietary needs. It may be, for example, that the local staple is the only available food and mothers have insufficient income to buy supplementary foods. Infant feeding is time consuming, both in the food preparation and feeding of the meal. The infant stomach is small and ideally the child should he fed at frequent intervals throughout the day; however, demands on womens time are usually so high that there is not enough time for infant feeding. Where income, availability of raw material and time are not constraints, poor feeding practices can be attributed to ignorance, illiteracy and the adherence to local customs and taboos.

Traditional weaning foods around the world are generally based on a porridge or gruel made from the local staple. For example, maize, banana, rice, plantain, cassava and wheat. In rural areas where refrigeration is not an option, gruels made in the morning are left to stand all day with an increased danger of the growth of food poisoning micro-organisms (pathogens) and contamination by dust and flies. In addition, in order to make gruels more palatable, mothers often water them down; sometimes after preparation with contaminated water. Although easier to eat, diluted gruels are low in energy and so have to be consumed in large amounts to meet the nutritional needs of the infant.

Experiences from many countries however, have demonstrated that it is possible to make improved weaning foods from local raw materials based on well understood, traditional, simple, low cost technologies. Small enterprises and individual households can make acceptable, nutritious products. Before examining some of these examples we need to consider the basic requirements of a weaning food.

Nutritional requirements

• high energy content

• low viscosity, i.e. of an acceptable thickness/consistency

• balanced protein (containing all essential amino acids)

• vitamins (particularly A, D and B group)

• minerals (iron, folic acid, calcium) e no anti-nutritional components e pleasant taste/palatable

Physical requirements

• easy and quick to prepare

• easy to consume

• adequate shelf life

• made from local ingredients

• affordable e safe micro-biological quality

The nutritional importance of a balanced protein composition is well understood in most cultures but deserves further explanation. There are many different types of protein and all are made up of long chains of amino-acids. Some of these amino-acids, in particular two called lysine and methionine, are often called limiting amino-acids, that is to say they are found in limited amounts in some foods. Cereal proteins are low in lysine while legume proteins are low in methionine. The consumption of cereal protein plus legume protein acts in a complimentary manner. This is the reason that many traditional diets are based on a legume/cereal mix (for example rice plus lentils, maize plus beans).

There are traditional processing methods available from different parts of the world, which are intended to improve the nutritional value of traditional weaning foods. These methods can he divided into four different categories;

• heating (toasting, roasting, puffing)

• adding sprouted or germinated grains

• fermentation

• fortification

HEATING

The action of heat on starchy foods causes the starch to pre-gelatinise which makes it easier to digest. Pre-gelatinised starch also takes less time to prepare. For example, porridge made from toasted maize will cook in 10 minutes compared to one and a half hours for untoasted maize.

Heating can also destroy anti-nutritional factors (these block the efficient absorption of proteins and nutrients into the gut) such as trypsin inhibitors and some tannins.

An example of a food made by simple toasting is Pushti, a traditional weaning food made in India from popped or puffed wheat. The cooking method is simple and one that is commonly seen in Asia for making puffed rice and for toasting peanuts. Cleaned, dehulled wheat is moistened with a little water and then added to a pan containing hot sand at

250-260°C (1kg of grain to 10kg sand). The grain and sand are stirred continuously for about 1 minute until all the grain has 'puffed'. The mix is then quickly sieved so that the grain does not burn. The puffed wheat grains are then ground to a flour. The wheat flour (700g) is mixed with soya flour (100kg) which has also been roasted over a fire for about 6 minutes, a process which removes the trypsin inhibitors present in soya. Sugar (200g) is also ground to a fine powder and added to the flours. In laboratory tests producing Pushti, a vitamin mix (la) was also added to the final mixture. At the village level where prepared vitamin mixes are not available, ground, dried leaves could he added as a source of vitamin A and iron.

ADDING SPROUTED OR GERMINATED GRAINS

Sprouted grains, such as barley, millet or sorghum, are rich in an enzyme called amylase which breaks down starch into sugars, thus making it easier to digest. Sprouted grains are traditionally used in the malting process to produce beer and this association is sometimes thought to make their use unsuitable for weaning food preparation. However, there is no alcohol produced during sprouting, only the conversion of starch to sugars. In addition to the breakdown of starch to sugars a major additional benefit is a reduction in the viscosity of the food, producing a sweeter, more palatable food, and thinner gruel.

The process is very simple and can quite easily be carried out at the household level. Cereal grains are allowed to sprout and are then ground into a powder or flour. A small pinch of the ground flour is added to a pot of starchy porridge. After a short time the viscosity of the porridge decreases to become liquid.

FERMENTATION

Fermentation has similar effects to germination of grains. The principle is the same, that is, breaking down the starch into sugars so that it becomes viscous and is easier to digest. Fermentation also improves the keeping qualities and increases the safety of foods by causing an increase in acidity which retards the growth of pathogenic micro-organisms that can cause sickness. In many parts of Africa milk sugar (lactose) intolerance is a serious problem. For this reason milk is commonly allowed to ferment, with a breakdown of the lactose, to a yoghurt a safer, longer life food.

Extreme care should be taken over the hygiene, quality control and safe handling of both the raw materials and finished products.

FORTIFICATION

A number of foods, including weaning foods, are fortified with other ingredients, notably vitamins and minerals, to increase their nutritional value. Common examples are the fortification of salt with iodine in order to control the outbreak of iodine deficiency diseases.

Weaning foods can easily be fortified by the addition of a little oil to a traditional starchy porridge. This increases the energy value, (10g of oil contains as many calories as 25g of starch) and also improves the flavour and palatability of a bland food. If the oil used is red palm oil, there are double benefits because this oil is high in beta-carotene which breaks down to vitamin A in the body (important for correct eyesight development).

Green leaves are a rich source of beta-carotene and also contain some iron. In Sri Lanka, a nutritious weaning food called Kola Kanda is made by adding leaf juice to cooked rice and coconut, the staple food of Sri Lankans. The juice is obtained by grinding leaves in a pestle and mortar. A more concentrated form of this supplement is obtained by boiling and curdling the extracted juice to form a protein and beta-carotene rich curd. An organization Find Your Feet has supported projects in several countries where leaf concentrate was used to fortify local foods and to improve the nutritional status of children. It is not, however, essential to extract the juice from leaves or to form a curd to enrich the starchy staple. Green leaves themselves are a nutritious supplement and mothers should be encouraged to include them in a weaning diet. As mentioned previously, dried, ground leaves can be used to fortify dried mixtures of cereals, pulses and oilseeds.

The examples described show that the production of nutritious weaning foods is a process which can be carried out at the small scale and at village level, by groups of women or individuals. It is based on locally available foods and traditional production processes and does not require sophisticated equipment. However, extreme care should be taken over the hygiene, quality control and safe handling of both the raw materials and finished products. During the preparation of weaning foods, hygiene is of utmost importance as contaminated weaning foods account for a substantial proportion of diarrhoeal disease and mortality among infants and children. The importance of food hygiene and safety in the preparation of foods and the prevention of diarrhoea, is often overlooked. Only simple measures are required as most contamination is due to factors such as polluted water, flies, pests, unclean pots and utensils, dirty hands and an unclean environment caused by inadequate sanitation.

There are several other considerations which must be taken into, account in order to establish a successful small business producing weaning foods. Although it makes common sense economically to use locally available foods in the preparation of weaning foods, there may he reluctance to buy the weaning foods for a number of reasons; the mother or carer is unaware of the dietary requirements of the infant; the supplementary food is too expensive and raw ingredients are not readily available; preparation of the foods can be time consuming and home-prepared foods may have a low status against the readily available commercial brands of weaning food. One of the most essential requirements is to increase the awareness of the mothers or carers to the importance of weaning foods in the infants diet. This role is carried out by nutritions extension workers and health workers. These people are also essential for helping to market the product against larger manufacturers who have an established reputation for quality and presentation.

Despite the many problems constraints, it is possible to make a readymade weaning food at the small scale.

In Ghana, Gratimix, a high protein weaning food made from groundnuts, maize and beans has been developed for small-scale production. The only equipment required is a corn mill, mixing bowls, a heat sealing machine, labels and polythene sachets. The three main ingredients are all cleaned separately, taking special care to avoid any groundnuts which may be contaminated by aflatoxin. After cleaning, they are roasted in an open pan to decrease the moisture content, (thereby prolonging shelf life), improve the digestibility of the nutrients and to de-activate enzymes and anti-nutritional factors. The roasted ingredients are cooled and the groundouts are dehulled after which they are mixed in the following proportions; maize 70%, cowpea 15% and groundnut 15%, and milled using a locally made corn mill to produce a fine flour. The flour is packed into double thickness polythene sachets and heat sealed. The product has a shelf life of three months.

In Hyderahad, India, womens groups in rural areas produce an instant weaning food called the Hyderabad mix. This mixture contains at least one cereal and one legume to provide a balance of amino acids. It also contains groundouts and local sugar for additional energy. The actual ingredients vary between seasons according to availability and price, but there is always one cereal, one legume and one oilseed. The ingredients are cleaned, dry roasted over a fire and then ground by hand on a stone. The flours are mixed together and packaged into plastic bags which are sealed over a candle. The weaning mixture can either be eaten as plain powder (by both adults and children), made into a porridge using milk or water, cooked as chappatis or made into sweet balls with jaggery (raw sugar). This weaning mixture is successful because it uses locally available ingredients, is flexible enough to change with variable availability of raw materials and uses a good balance of cereal, legume and oilseed.

High energy, high protein biscuits have the potential to make an ideal weaning food. Children love to eat biscuits, they are very easy to eat and do not require the assistance of the mother or carer and preparation time and costs are removed. The main constraint to their use may be increased cost above ordinary mass produced biscuits which can be found in most shops. Biscuits can be made from any types of locally available cereals, pulses and oilseeds. It is possible for production to be on the small-scale, using a clay bread oven or an oil drum oven. The following recipe makes a nutritious, high energy, high protein biscuit.

1. Choose a legume such as beans, an oil seed such as groundnut or sesame and a cereal such as maize or millet. Get some wheat flour.

2. Clean all the ingredients and throw away any groundnuts which are bad.

3. Roast the groundouts or sesame, taking care not to burn them. Pound and grind them into a fine flour or paste. Soak the beans and remove the skins. Dry them and grind into a fine flour.

4. Roast and grind the cereal.

5. Mix one part each of the groundout or sesame paste, the bean flour, the cereal flour and the wheat flour. Add a half part of sugar and 1 teaspoon of baking powder for every 10 big spoonfuls of mixture.

6. Add a half part of oil to the mixture to increase the energy value. Rub it in thoroughly until you have a dryish mixture.

7. Add clean water, one spoon at a time, until the mixture is pliable but not sticky. Mix well for 5 minutes.

8. Roll out the dough and cut into biscuits. Place them on a greased tray and bake in a hot oven for about 15 minutes.

9. When cooled, pack them into airtight containers.

This article was produced from contributions from the following; F W. Korthals Altes and P Dijkhuizen (AT Source, 19(2)); Motarjemi, F Kaferstein, G Moy and F Quevedo (Bull World Health Org. 71(1)); G Gordon (AT Journal, 14(2)); A Maddison and G Davys (AT Journal 14(2)); D Morley (Professor of Tropical Child Health, London University); ND Vietmeyer (Vetiver Network); S. Anokye-Mensah (Ghana Regional Appropriate Technology Industrial Service (GRATIS); K Krishna Kumari (Assistant Professor, Foods and Nutrition, PR and Research Centre, Rajendranagar, Hyderabad, India).

The actual ingredients vary between seasons according to availability and price, but there is always one cereal, one legume and one oilseed. High energy, high protein biscuits have the potential to make ideal weaning foods.

 

 

Latin America pages

Welcome to the Latin America Pages

As with the Asia Pages, these pages are for our readers in Latin America to share experiences and ideas which have been beneficial to themselves and which they want to share with a wider audience. I look forward to hearing from you all - this is your blank space upon which you can write. Food Chain has already published material from Latin America, but we want to establish a much greater involvement with you, the readers, in this region. It may be that it is easier for you to write in Spanish and direct to me here in Lima. I look forward to receiving your articles and letters. Please send them to me - Daniel Rodriguez at IT Peru, Casilla Postal 18-0620, Lima 18, Peru. Email: danielr@itdg.org.pe

Candy Production

A VERY SIMPLE TECHNOLOGY FOR SMALL ENTERPRISES

Confectionery products are widely produced by small enterprises, and over the years Food Chain has published short articles on traditional sweets from many countries. However, previously articles have described what are known as low boiled products' such as toffees, fudges and marshmallows. This article describes the manufacture of 'high boiled! sweets (often referred to as candies), where much higher temperatures are used.

Low boiled sweets, in which the sugar mass is heated to about 120°C are comparatively easy to make. The sugar mass remains soft and pliable for some time and can be moulded by hand or poured into moulds. Sugar crystallization is rarely a problem. The production of high boiled sweets with cooking temperatures of up to 160°C is quite a difficult process involving great art and requiring a lot of experience. In this article the authors describe their experiences working with a candy maker in Peru.

As part of IT-Peru's food processing training programme, technical assistance for small-scale entrepreneurs is provided in their own production unit, to complement training courses. The programme has visited approximately 100 small enterprises producing liquors, cookies, soybean sauce, vanilla extract and a wide range of confectionery products. During these visits we began to realise that the particular products made, very much depend on the particular part of Peru from which the families originated. Those producing fried foods for example, tend to have originated from Cuzco in the mountains, while bakers come from another highland area around the town of Huancayo. In other cases products relate to particular family groups that have knowledge and skills passed down from generation to generation. This article describes the case of a family in Lima with a tradition of candy production.

About 15 years ago a Spanish citizen came to Peru, bringing with him all the necessary equipment to establish a small candy factory. He set up business and began training his workers. One of these was Wilder Onocuica, who, after the Spanish owner's death, became the factory manager inheriting all the equipment. He needed workers quickly, so he trained six nephews. This has now resulted in the establishment of six small candy factories, each having specific products based on the creative ability and dynamics of the owner.

We are currently providing technical assistance to Wilder Onocuica and are now considering extending this to the six nephews who we have already visited. When Wilder first started the business, he felt rather unsure and so he hired a skilled worker from a big factory in Lima, who provided valuable assistance in a very creative way. For example, the standard metal moulds available in Lima are expensive, costing US$ 400-500. Together they designed wooden moulds which cost only US$60 and had ten times the capacity of the metal ones. The assistance provided by Intermediate Technology has included simple quality control methods, information on how to obtain sanitary/hygiene certificates, market information, uses of alternative raw materials and in general how to formalize a small business. ness.

Production takes place in a room 5m by 6m which contains the following extremely simple, low-cost equipment:

• One kerosene stove.

• One wooden table covered with formica (2.40 x 0.80m)

• A cooling tank (a rectangular stainless tank 150 x 80cm placed in a wooden vat full of cold water)

• Two aluminium pots of 15-litre capacity.

• An iron pot, with a coarse mesh and internal charcoal heater (used to keep the candy warm and soft)

• One metal hook for candy pulling.

• Aluminium and brass moulds of different shapes. e Wooden moulds.

• A simple set of scales.

The main ingredients used are sugar, cream of tartar, flavours and colours, citric acid and glucose

The most important ingredient is a lot of creative ability and the desire to work.

THE TYPICAL PRODUCTION PROCESS

In a typical batch of candy, 12 kg of sugar is mixed with 4 litres of water and heated on the stove.

After 5 minutes 5g of cream of tartar is added, which causes some inversion of the sugar, (a chemical change in which cane sugar breaks down into smaller sugars - glucose and fructose) and so reduces the risk of crystals forming in the final product. When the syrup is really hot, the sides of the cooking pot are very carefully wiped clean of any spatters of syrup with a piece of clean, damp cloth. If this is not done really carefully there are sure to be sugar crystallization problems. The syrup temperature must reach 162°C. It is then poured into a cooling tray which has previously been greased with 'butter. At this stage colour can be added.

When the mass of candy is cool enough to handle, but is still very hot, it has to be repeatedly stretched. This is done by throwing it over a hook, pulling down and extending it as shown in the photographs. It is heavy, hot work. As the candy is removed from the hook after each pull it is placed in the special container (essentially a bucket with a heater inside and a perforated plate) in order to keep the candy hot and pliable. Finally the candy is rolled out, rather like a bread dough, and placed in moulds as shown in the photographs.

At present, Wilmer produces about 10 different kinds of candies which are packed in bags of ¼, ½ or 1 kg according to the market requirements. Some of these are shown.

Is it profitable? This small company uses about 150kg of sugar a day and in our view appears to be profitable. Its basic costs, in US$ are:

Sugar 150kg at 58c/kg

87.00

Other ingredients

8.70

Labour

25.50

Total production cost

121.20

Sales value at

172.50

Profit *

51.30

*Note: this profit calculation does not take account of depreciation, insurance etc.

In this short article we wish to highlight that food processing enterprises, using very simple technologies, are an important source of employment for people of low income in countries like Peru. Mr. Onocuica's enterprise, for example, provides permanent employment directly to six workers and to another five indirectly, through marketing. All of this with a very low capital investment.

This article was written by Ing. Walter Rios and Roaldo Hilario, Ave Jorge Chavez 275, Miraflores, Lima 18 Peru. Tel: (511) 4447055 Fax: (511) 4466621

Email: postmast@itdg.org.pe

 

 

Coconut processing in the Mekong delta

Due to a lack of in-country processing, Vietnam even imports a number of processed coconut products from abroad.

In Ben Tre in the heart of the Mekong Delta, Vietnam, coconuts are cultivated on thousands of small household plantations covering 312,000 acres. Coconut production has yielded the highest income for the farming families of Ben Tre, each of whom typically owns less than one acre of land. In addition to their agricultural value, coconut trees provide a natural windbreak, so reducing damaging effects of typhoons. Along much of the coastline in the Mekong Delta, they also prevent erosion and sea encroachment of the land on which so many people depend for their livelihood.

Although Vietnam has the fifth largest number of coconut trees in the world, the potential of the crop to farmers, and to the country as a whole through exports, is declining. Vietnam's coconut industry suffered when the socialist block markets, on which it relied for the sale of coconut oil, collapsed. Vietnam was left to compete using outdated technologies in a worldwide, free-market environment, for which it was neither experienced nor equipped. This has resulted in a serious loss of income for the country, with the thousands of farmers who rely on the sale of coconuts as their primary source of income, being particularly hard hit. The province of Ben Tre has experienced a severe economic decline due to the loss of income and jobs dependent on the coconut industry.

While Vietnam has some successful small businesses that process coconuts for fibre and charcoal, these facilities consume only a limited number of coconuts. The bulk of Vietnam's coconut trade today is by the low-value export of whole, unprocessed coconuts to China. Due to a lack of in-country processing, Vietnam even imports a number of processed coconut products from abroad.

No one feels the effect of the declining markets more than the small farmers of Ben Tre and the fall in market demand for their produce has reduced their already meagre income. Over the last six years, 13 per cent of the coconut trees in Ben Tre Province have been cut down as farmers seek alternative higher income crops.

DEVELOPING A VIETNAMESE COCONUT PROCESSING ENTERPRISE

The Swedish Red Cross developed an interest in coconut cultivation as a means of providing a natural windbreak against typhoons which annually hit Vietnam's coastline. Between 1988 and 1991, as part of their disaster relief effort, the Swedish Red Cross financed the planting of 300,000 coconut trees along selected areas of the Vietnamese coastline. As a follow Up to the planting programme, they asked International Development Enterprises (IDE), a small, private, non-profit making organization specializing in the development of market driven, small-scale technologies, to undertake a project to develop a sustainable coconut processing industry.

The aim of the project was to strengthen and expand the market for coconuts, thus making coconut cultivation a greater and more stable income generating activity for farmers. In January 1994, after extensive market research and a manufacturing feasibility study, IDE chose desiccated coconut (dried, finely shredded, white coconut meat), as the most promising product.

Desiccated coconut is used in the manufacture of bakery goods and confectionery and sells for almost twice the price of unprocessed nuts. It is the second most important product, after oil, for the coconut industries of Sri Lanka and the Philippines. However, no manufacturers of this high value product existed in Vietnam.

Over the course of two and half years, IDE developed a production unit to manufacture desiccated coconut. As well as technology development, eighty workers had to be trained in all aspects of desiccated coconut production. Technical development work focused on reducing the size of the production system and machinery used in Sri Lanka. At the same time, IDE sought markets in Vietnam to sustain a desiccated coconut company.

After proving the technical and financial viability of producing and marketing desiccated coconut at an experimental facility, IDE established a stand alone, profitable enterprise for its manufacture and sale. The Dat Lanh Company in Ben Tre Province is equipped with US$30,000 of machinery that was designed by IDE and manufactured in Vietnam. IDE provided a further US$10,000 of start-up capital, and the newly formed company's management secured hank loans totalling US$30,000 to renovate an existing site and upgrade the electrical and water facilities.

IDE trained a seven-member hoard of directors to manage the company and provide leadership. The board comprises the manager of the company, prominent members of the provincial government, an elected worker from the factory and a representative of the Ben Tre Red Cross.

Good hygiene is particularly important in desiccated coconut production. The final product is generally used without any further heat processing. This means that any micro-organisms present can pass directly into the food chain.

FROM FIELD TO CUSTOMER

Farmers gather coconuts from the trees when they are ripe and hardened. They are then transported by boat along the Mekong River to the factory for processing. At the facility the hard shell is removed with hatchets, leaving the coconut meat unbroken. The broken shells are sold to a charcoal enterprise. The brown testa, which coats the white coconut meat, is shaved off and sold for pressing to yield a low-grade coconut oil.

Good hygiene is particularly important in desiccated coconut production. The final product is generally used without any further heat processing, for example sprinkled on cakes and biscuits. This means that any micro-organisms present can pass directly into the food chain. Food poisoning organisms such as coliforms and salmonella have proved a serious problem and some countries have lost their export markets due to their presence. IDE thus placed great emphasis on factory and worker hygiene. All factory operatives receive training from the Vietnam Department of Preventative Health Care. This organization also carries out bacteriological tests of the product each day. Hygiene measures in place include chlorinated hand washers, foot baths (which have to be walked through before entering the factory), and stringent planned cleaning shifts at the end of each week.

All the kernels first pass through a series of chlorinated and fresh water wash tanks to reduce contamination levels. They are then heat treated in a blancher which destroys any remaining heat sensitive micro-organisms such as salmonella. The blancher is a small version of the type used in Sri Lanka. It consists of a tank 2m by 1m fitted with a rotating stainless steel auger along its length. The auger speed is set so that the kernels are blanched for a minimum of 90 seconds. The water temperature is maintained above 95°C. Should the temperature fall below this the auger stops automatically until the temperature rises. The 95°C thermostat is checked weekly before blanching. The blancher feeds the coconut kernels into a high sterility area - the drying room. Here the kernels are ground into small pieces using an imported Malaysian mill with a capacity of 3 tons/day (double the drying capacity of the factory). Initially a locally designed and built mill was used but this proved unsatisfactory. The particle size produced was uneven and it was very difficult to clean.

The milled coconut is loaded onto wooden frame trays (1m by 1m) with mesh bases, which are passed through driers - again based on those used in Sri Lanka. Heat for the drier is supplied by a coal-fired steam boiler. Essentially it is a semi-continuous counter-current drier, i.e. the hottest and driest air first passes through the bottom tray of almost dry material about to leave the drier, then passes through subsequent trays and finally passing through the top tray of very wet material that hats just been pushed into the drier. The drier holds five trays and it takes 40 minutes for a tray to pass though giving a final product with a moisture content below 2 per cent. Air enters the drier at 100°C.

Once dried, the desiccated coconut is cooled, inspected, and if needed, ground to a fineness to meet individual specifications. It is then packed into woven sacks with heat sealed polythene liners. Samples of the product are taken for bacteriological testing. After clearance, the desiccated coconut is transported by truck throughout Vietnam, to confectionery factories that produce a number of different products for sale both within the country and for export.

The company retains 50 per cent of the profits for expansion, 30 per cent is distributed to workers and management, and 20 per cent is donated to support the humanitarian activities of the Ben Tre Red Cross and the Ben Tre Child Care Committee.

FIRST YEAR RESULTS

The factory employs 80 workers and uses over 160,000 coconuts per month, putting $190,000 per year into the hands of the 1,000-1,500 coconut-farming families. It sells over US$500,000 of desiccated coconut annually to Vietnamese and foreign joint venture confectionery manufacturers who have switched from using imported desiccated coconut. The new company exported its first container of desiccated coconut to Taiwan in early 1997.

Since its establishment in mid 1996, the desiccated coconut company has expanded its monthly sales to 30 tons and anticipates after tax profits in excess of US$80,000 in its first year. The company retains 50 per cent of the profits for expansion, 30 per cent is distributed to workers and management, and 20 per cent is donated to support the humanitarian activities of the Ben Tre Red Cross and the Ben Tre Child Care Committee.

The Red Cross uses the income to finance its relief and infrastructure programmes in the villages of Ben Tre. Among other things, these programmes provide food and health care for victims of floods and typhoons which strike the province almost every year. The Child Care Committee uses its funds to provide educational and vocational training facilities for handicapped, orphaned and street children in Ben Tre Province.

When successful, such projects increase jobs and available income to the rural poor, and shift economic benefits of processing from large centralized processing factories in cities to rural areas.

SIGNIFICANCE

Besides being a successful development project, which was initiated by an international NGO and then turned over to a local entity as a self-sustaining enterprise, there are other lessons that may be learned from this project.

1. It added 80 jobs to the local rural economy

2. Economic benefits from the added value derived from processing stayed in Vietnam, rather than accruing to countries to which coconuts were being exported.

3. Job creation in poor rural areas and the economic benefits from the multiplier effects of these jobs, reduced pressure for rural to urban migration.

4. The coconut processing factory was totally handed over to become a locally owned enterprise within the three-year term of the project.

5. Total investment in the plant and equipment was US$40,000 which is currently producing net annual profits of US$50,000 per year. Both output and profits are increasing rapidly. (Indeed since this paper was prepared we have heard that drying capacity has been doubled.)

Recently, two new independent desiccated coconut factories have opened. This means that raw coconut sales have risen to 7.5 million coconuts per year and output of desiccated coconut to 135 tons/month. Whilst IDE are very pleased to see this increase, there is concern that the new factories may export some contaminated product which could then destroy the whole Vietnamese export market. IDE is thus currently seeking finance to send the directors of the new factories and government officials to Sri Lanka in order to study government regulations and standards of production, (especially sanitation), storage and export requirements for desiccated coconut. It would also be an opportunity for them to meet potential machinery/equipment suppliers. It is hoped that this trip would result in the development of a Government Code of Practice.

The desiccated coconut processing factory can be seen as a model for identifying niches in the market place for profitable small-scale, value-added processing of agricultural products in poor rural areas. When successful, such projects increase jobs and available income to the rural poor, and shift economic benefits of processing from large centralized processing plants in cities to rural areas.

This article was sent in by Dan Salter and Nguyen Van Quang. Dan Salter is currently the Vietnam Country Director for IDE. He started the coconut project in January of 1994 and turned it over to the Dat Lanh Company in later 996. Nguyen Van Quang was the Senior Project Officer on the coconut project and is currently the Central Vietnam Regional Director for IDE. For further information they can be contacted at IDE: 52 Mai Dich, Tu Liem, Hanoi, Vietnam. Email: ide@netnam.org.vn

 

 

Asia pages

Dear Friends...

Thank you for writing to us. We try our best to allocate all of you a place, in the Asia pages. Please don't worry if your articles have not yet been published. Do write to us with interesting stories in the field of food processing - the machinery developed locally, problems that you came across etc. Please give as much detail as you can so that others can then use the information. Send us newsletters of your organizations to share information about your work with a wider audience.

It is with regret we say goodbye to Chintha Munasinghe from our Sri Lanka office who has been the contact for you since the Asia Pages began, but please continue to write to us.

The work of co-ordinating your material for publication is to be continued by Alamgeer Haque in our office in Bangladesh. Just drop a line as usual to: Alamgeer Haque, IT Bangladesh, GPO Box 3881, Dhaka 1000, Bangladesh. Email: itdg@itbangla.bdmail.net

Noodles bring Japan and Nepal together

I met Satuko from Japan, who came to work with me under the JOVC programme. We had a lot of time together as trainers and had the chance to share our expertise and indigenous knowledge during that time.

She left for Japan leaving me with a lot of sweet memories. I remember how we tried adapting Japanese food to suit the Nepalese.

Noodles was one of the areas we selected. Satuko knew how to make noodles at home - normal wheat flour noodles, steamed noodles and instant noodles - but we wanted to make it more nutritious by trying out different kinds of flour such as legumes, maize and barley.

This is one recipe we came up with:

Rajani Shreshta Assistant Food Researcher Central Food Research Laboratory Babar Mahal, Katmandu Nepal

NUTRITIOUS STRAIGHT NOODLES: SATUKO-RAJANI RECIPE

Ingredients:

Wheat Flour

700g-800g

Other flour

300g-200g

Water

400ml

Salt

40g

PROCESS:

1. Mix wheat flour with other flour (legume, maize, barley etc.).

2. Dissolve salt in the water.

3. Mix the flour mixture with water.

4. Knead it well and leave the dough for 1 hour.

5. Knead the dough well again.

6. Flatten the dough on a table with hands or a rolling pin.

7. Slice the dough and make a thin sheet using a pasta machine.

8. Cut the noodles.

9. Leave hanging for sometimes on a rack and then steam them.

10. Dry them under the sun.

11. Pack and store.

The sweet smell of success

Mr Chandradasa and his wife live in rural southern Sri Lanka and in 1994 both attended food processing training courses which resulted in them starting a small confectionery bussiness manufacturing a range of jujubes and toffees. He has now been able to give up his job as a cooperative manager to be able to devote his time to marketing the goods they produce.

They received support from the Mahaweli Entrepreneur Development Organisation (MEDO) which not only funded their attendance on training courses but also provided assistance in supplying the necessary equipment, and working capital in order to begin production. In order to receive MEDO support the Chandradasa's had to prepare a small business plan to show that their venture would be profitable. This involved a simple market survey in local shops.

The equipment used to produce the confectionery is simple and consists of a gas ring, a stainless steel pan, scales, a sugar thermometer, moulds, a heat sealer and small items such as jugs and spoons.

They make two batches of jujubes a week (as shown in the flow chart oveleaf), each batch taking about five hours to produce from start to finish. Raw material costs arc Rs500/batch and the selling price is Rs700. They also make 750 pieces of Rulang toffee a week, 750 packets of milk toffee, and 300 packets of a local fried dough sweet called Batto.

All ingredients and packaging are locally available, lout they are unhappy with the poor quality of the labels as this affects the marketing of their products.

They are now experimenting with baking bread in order to expand the business. Mr Chandradasa has attended a bakery training course, again courtesy of MEDO and he has built a small wood-fired, 6 loaf oven They currently make two batches a clay and hope to expand if there is sufficient demand.

Like all businesses, they have problems, mainly associated with the system of sale. The shopkeepers only pay the Chandradasa's when the goods are sold (a sale or return basis). Also, the Chandradasa's have no control of handling, storage and display of their goods, which means that sometimes goods are returned spoiled, due to incorrect storage and display. The shopkeepers have the upper hand and the entrepreneurs have no alternative but to agree to the terms. To do their own marketing would mean that they have less time to prepare the confectionery.

On the brighter side, they have now increased turnover to such an extent that not only has Mr Chandradasa left his regular job, hut they have now saved enough money to begin construction of a purpose-built building for confectionery production. It is clear that training has been the key to making much more of their lives.

JUJUBES

Ingredients

Sugar

250g

Gelatine

25g

Liquid glucose

75g

Citric acid

2g

Essence

5 drops

Colouring

5 drops

water

100ml (a cup)

   

- to dissolve gelatine

 

100ml (½ cup)

   

- to boil sugar


fig.2

MILK TOFFEE

Ingredients

Sugar

500g

Coconut

1 or

Coconut milk

100ml (1 cup) or

Milk powder

100g

dissolved in

Water

200ml

Peanut/cashew

25g

Cardamom

5 seeds

Vanilla

as required

Colouring

as required


fig.3

HOW TO MAKE BATTOS

INGREDIENTS

Wheat flour

250g

Sugar

250g

Yeast

2g

Water

120g

Salt

5g

Cooking oil (for frying)

Recipes and flow charts kindly sent by Mr Chopa Edirisinghe, Unit Manager, ICTRL, Yodhagama, Embilipitiya, Sri Lanka.

METHOD

Mix and knead wheat flour, salt, yeast and 5g of sugar with sufficient water to make a firm dough. Let the dough ferment for about 40 minutes. Then mix the dough well to remove air. Make small balls and roll them to get sickle shaped battos.

Deep fry the 'raw' battos until they become golden brown. Dip them in hot sugar solution (boiling at 108°C) and remove as soon as it gets sticky.

HOW TO MAKE SUGAR SOLUTION

This should be prepared as soon as all the battos are fried. To make the sugar solution, dissolve the remaining sugar into the remaining water. Keep it on the flame and let it boil until the temperature of the solution is 108°C. At this point the sugar solution usually becomes thick and sticky. The general practice to identify this stage is by dropping a small amount of it into a bowl of water. If the drop remains as it is without dissolving in water, then that is the time to add battos.


Figure

INTERMEDIATE TECHNOLOGY