Drying to preserve
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CTA. 1992. Drying to preserve. Spore 37. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/45691
Drying is an old and well-established method of food preservation. Traditionally, crops (and fish) are spread out in the sun to dry, but this leaves them vulnerable to the vagaries of the weather to attack by pests and theft by birds and animals....
Drying is an old and well-established method of food preservation. Traditionally, crops (and fish) are spread out in the sun to dry, but this leaves them vulnerable to the vagaries of the weather to attack by pests and theft by birds and animals. To provide a solution to this problem the Intermediate Technology Group worked on developing an effective drying cabinet that was cheap to build and to run. An initial programme to dry sorrel in St. Vincent in 1974 led to further experimentation in Guatemala, where the need was to dry vegetables. The technology was then further refined and transferred to Peru and other countries in Latin America, where the need was as diverse as herbal teas and fruit. The first system consisted of a simple plywood double-cabinet drier, holding nine trays with air heated by a Benson-letaire heater blower. It was soon realized that the lower trays dried first and could be removed, the upper trays moved down and new trays added to the top. Moving the trays became time-consuming and so a semi-continuous system that allowed the trays to move down the cabinet was developed. The system was adapted in interesting ways to meet local needs and conditions and where fuel was cheap the semicontinuous, fuelefficient design was not always favoured. The drier is now being used in Bangladesh where It is helping a group of landless women process their coconut all year round. It has even been used in Ireland to process organically grown herbs. Barrie Axell ITDG, Myson House Radway Terrace Ruphy CV21 3HT, UK