Options for drying on a small scale

Options for drying on a small scale
Authors (non HEDON members)
Mike Battcock, Dr Sue Azam-Ali
Foods have been preserved by drying for more than 3000 years – it is one of the oldest technologies known; potatoes in the Andes, cereals in Egypt and dates and figs in the Mediterranean. At the simplest level, all that is required is the energy from the sun. At a higher level, there are several interventions that require either the concentration of the sun’s energy in a solar collector, or use of alternative energy sources, such as the burning of fuel or biomass.

Drying is used to remove water from foods for two reasons:

* to prevent spoilage by bacterial activity and the growth of mould
* to reduce the weight and bulk of food for cheaper transport and storage.

It is important to distinguish between the two different reasons for drying:

Preservation drying is the drying of an agricultural product to prevent food being spoilt. There is no value being added to the product.A good example is the drying of cereals.Product refinement drying involves value being added to the product, for example dried fish, fruit and vegetables.

There are many ways of drying agricultural crops including sundrying, solar drying and the use of artificial driers. The choice of drying method depends on, amongst other factors, the final end-use of the product and the prevailing environmental conditions.

Journal Section
General Article

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Title in French
Options de séchage à petite échelle
Abstract in French
Le séchage d’aliments est la plus ancienne et la plus répandue des techniques de conservation des aliments. Les méthodes comprennent le séchage solaire direct et le séchage par le biens d’équipements utilisant l’énergie solaire ou d’autres formes d’énergie. Le séchage a pour fonction principale l’augmentation des revenus. Aussi la décision d’investir dans des équipements relativement coûteux dépend du type de produit à sécher et de sa valeur commerciale.

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051 Solar
Service type
012 Cooking
BoilingPoint47    Solardrying   

Article body in English

Page name EN

  • A practitioner's journal on household energy, stoves and poverty reduction.

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