A food safety specialist and Senior Research Scientist at the Biotechnology and Nuclear Agriculture Research Institute (BNARI) of Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC) is making strides towards tackling post-harvest losses in the production of tomatoes across the world.
Dr. Mavis Owureku-Asare, who is also the Head of Radion Technology at the Institute, is using her expertise in food processing technologies to develop a simple device to preserve tomatoes by dehydration.
In what she describes as a simple and convenient solution, the food scientist is leveraging on technology for tomato farmers to better manage their harvests and improve their livelihood.
Dr. Owureku-Asare told Citi Business about how she has managed to develop a dryer that locally processes perishable fresh tomato into powder, paste and puree to cut down on the huge tomato waste recorded on farms and at market places.
Different methods for adding value to tomatoes. I looked at the dehydration method using the vacuum method, convection dryer, and also the canning of tomatoes. I even looked at making tomato powder using the spray dryer. These were so many complex methods that I used to see ways of adding value to tomatoes and how to use these methods in Ghana. I developed a very low-cost dryer that can be used to dry tomatoes into powder. I am looking at other means to make tomatoes mix, puree, and paste from the powder that I get. This dryer can be used for other foods like pepper and fish.
Mode of operation
It is a low-cost dryer, mix mode dryer and a passive dryer ( it does not need a force condition) You can have an active dryer that you need to pump air into the dryer for the product. but this has a collector where the air naturally comes through and there is a collector that heats the air to optimize and to trap the heat, and then it lows into the chamber where the food is placed. Once it takes out the moisture from the food, it goes out from an exhaust. So you don’t need a solar panel. There are complex dryers but this just a basic one.
Source: Citi Newsroom||Kuulpeeps.com
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