Monthly archives: November, 2007

Biodegradable plastic to be produced from sugarcane

US-based Metabolix said it had signed an agreement with Australia's sugar industry to produce biodegradable plastics from cane.

Commercialising indigenous plants

Africa has a rich botanical diversity, with at least 2,000 edible food plants. Yet despite enormous potential, few have been commercialised according to Prof Ben-Erik van Wyk of the Department of Botany at the University of Johannesburg, and author of the book Food Plants of the World.

A sound stove, fridge, generator

The £2m ($4.1m) Score (Stove for Cooking, Refrigeration and Electricity) project is bringing together experts from across the world to develop a wood-powered generator capable of both cooking and cooling food.

A hand paper-maker for bananas, sisal, etc

South Africa's Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has developed a small-scale production unit for handmade paper. The first applications for the unit – seven have been supplied for community projects within South Africa – are in the processing of banana leaves.

Canned worms

Garden worm farming is increasingly recognised as an effective waste disposal tool. A number of systems are available in South Africa, among them the aptly-named Can-O-Worms, a bin design which is used worldwide. The equipment and worms can be posted to clients.

Making more of mopane

Mopane worms – the larvae of the mopane emperor moth (Imbrasia belina) – are probably today the leading edible insect in southern Africa. They have been harvested and eaten by people in areas where mopane trees grow for centuries.

Solar driers for Ugandan pineapples

In Uganda, pineapple farmers have been installing pineapple driers supplied via the National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS).

Carbon credit opportunities

Africa has generally been slow in taking up the advantage that the continent has for carbon credit trading. However, in South Africa a number of agribusiness and chemical industry-related projects have applied to the Designated National Authority (DNA) for evaluation and approval – the first step on a lengthy road to reap benefit from the so-called Clean Development Mechanism (CDM).

Aquaculture expertise

Having visited aquaculture operations across 17 countries, Leslie Ter Morshuizen of Aquaculture Innovations of South Africa assists companies considering investing in aquaculture. He assists with site selection, species selection, financial and biological viability analyses, and production protocols/audits on existing operations.

Biogas – energy from waste

Opportunities in the biogas sector are developing fast as the world focuses increasingly on climate change and alternate energies. And there are now real opportunities for businesspeople in Africa.

Pro-Pak closing/heat sealing machines

The RS Series of bag closing/heat sealing machines from Pro-Pak are designed for the closing of all types of heat-sealable plastic film and laminates. In recent times, these machines have been extensively used for the closing of the now very popular stand-up pouch. They offer extremely reliable and fast sealing of these pouches at a very modest price.

Coating solutions for returnable glass bottles

Success for beer and soft drink manufacturers is about getting the products presented in the right way in the pubs, bars, and shops where the customers experience the product. Bottle appearance can have a significant impact on market positioning, market share and brand image – and, therefore, on the bottom line.

Tsk, tsk, it’s tea Tstix

It’s not a teabag, it’s a Tstix®! If you like your tea, but don’t like fishing or dangling a string with a teabag over a hot cup of water, hoping always that you will find a place to hide your used, brown and dripping teabag – then you are in luck.

Threesome package

South African retail chain Pick 'n Pay, which is celebrating its 40th birthday this year, wanted to offer some new, striking and original products – including products with free additional quantity.

Kuhn cutting machines

Kuhn Machines is a family owned business with its focus on manufacturing quality slicing and cutting solutions for the food industry.

Snail production in West Africa

Snail meat, often known as Congo meat in Africa, is consumed in many countries in the world, with some, considering it as a delicacy for the rich.

Waste food project wins green award

A Biotech project in India to turn waste food into cooking gas was recently among the winners of an environmental award of the Ashden Awards (of the Sainsbury family trusts).

Biogas and Africa