Book: Business management for small-scale agro-processor.
This 78 page book by Peter Fellows and Alexandra Rottger is available free online via http://bit.ly/FBRDH4 , or: www.fao.org/Ag/AGS/subjects/en/agmarket/docs/agsf7.pdf
Unlike many books targeting food processors, this book concentrates on business issues rather than technology and machinery. Not that the authors do not have the technological knowledge; in fact Peter Fellows is a professor of food science and has worked in a range of practical smaller-scale food processing projects and businesses around the world.
The book starts by focusing on the preliminary design/planning of production and the management of finances, inventory, people, equipment and quality. This is done in a general rather than sector-specific manner.
The chapter on the planning of production is very useful and covers a wide range of issues such as setting annual sales budgets, linking this to raw material availability, calculating production capacity, process design and equipment sizing.
Mass balances, recipe calculations, product yields, scheduling, labour needs, waste, by-products and material sourcing are all described clearly with flowcharts, calculations, lists and real data. The managing of finances is a similarly detailed chapter that uses checklists, formulae, forms and example calculations to cover issues such as pricing, costing, fixed costs, variable costs, break-even, record-keeping and financial statements.
Guidelines for business management that are specifically focused on the edible oil, fruit and vegetable processing, cereal milling, meat and dairy processing sectors, are presented. This information mainly describes material sourcing and business finances in each sector.
The book ends with around 75 references on all issues covered in the text. The references are mainly to documents available from the UN, donor and development organisation, which are free or available at low cost.
This is a great book for the technical person looking to convert a small-scale income-generating production operation into a business, or for anyone starting out in food processing.
Book: Guide to Indigenous Fruit Processing
This book by Madrenka Krige, Chris Hansmann, and Festus Akinnifesi is available online via http://bit.ly/FBRDH5 or at:
The book is a detailed manual on fruit processing science and technology, focusing on the particular needs of indigenous fruit processing.
It opens with a food science view of fruit and the natural processes such as ripening and spoiling that affect its quality. It describes these processes, how they affect quality, and links this to preservation processes.
The next section presents a detailed food science-based description of the heating, blanching and pasteurisation preservation processes; it also describes preservation based on cooling, freezing, drying, concentration, salting, acidity, sugar concentration, fermentation and preservatives.
A separate section focuses on food safety and hygiene and presents information on food quality management, personal hygiene, equipment and work areas, water quality and waste disposal.
Another section discusses the effect of preservation and processing on nutritional value.
The application of food preservation processes to the production of specific food products is described and detailed with practical information presented on fruit beverages, jams, jellies, marmalade, dried fruit, fruit leathers, candied fruit, fermented fruit products, wines, beers, vinegar, chutney, sauces and pickles.
The first part of the book ends with a section on trouble shooting, which has a useful 5-page table linking product problems and their causes.
The second part of the book presents detailed recipes using indigenous fruit, for many of the products described in the first section.
Around 40 references in the bibliography present a comprehensive view of information from the scientific literature.
This is a comprehensive manual that provides practically all the background needed to decide on products and processes for a new indigenous fruit processing business.
Book: Energy Efficiency Improvement and Cost Saving Opportunities for the Fruit and Vegetable Processing Industry
This report by Eric Masanet, Ernst Worrell, Wina Graus, and Christina Galitsky is available via http://bit.ly/FBRDH6 or at:
The report, sponsored by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), shows that useful food processing information is available for free from many sources on the internet.
The objective of the report is to reduce the environmental impact of energy use. However, the same information is useful to the processor in reducing and controlling production costs.
The report starts with an overview of the US fruit and vegetable processing industry covering economic trends, sub-sector overviews, fruit and vegetable processing trends, imports and exports, and industry structure and characteristics.
A 14-page overview of processing methods that includes the definition of unit processes and process flow diagrams is useful as a simple description of processes used in fruit and vegetable processing.
An overview of the industry provides detailed information on sectors and their fuel consumption.
More interesting, especially for designers, is the information on energy intensity which gives energy/mass information for the various unit operations in fruit and vegetable processing.
The following section generically identifies efficiency improvement opportunities and outlines a process to implement these.
Thereafter there is detailed information and data on energy efficiency techniques, both for services and specific fruit and vegetable operations.
A section on water consumption sets benchmarks for particular products and provides detailed information on saving.
Emerging energy-efficient technologies, such as ohmic heating, pulsed electric field pasteurisation, geothermal heat pumps, infrared drying and pulsed fluid bed drying are described in some detail.
Over 220 references provide access to a mass of further information. This report would help the business looking for ways to reduce its energy consumption and the engineer or technical person who needs real data on unit operations for design and costings.