ALLGRAIN Food Extruder | Postharvest handling, Value Addition and Marketing (Value Addition)
The role of post-harvest management in assuring the quality and safety of produce is of significant importance in crop production. The ALLGRAIN food extruder was invented to improve the post handling of cereals such as maize and rice. The basic components of the ALLGRAIN food extruder (which is a modified oil-expeller) mainly include:
- A feeding unit or storage bin above the extruder that meters the raw ingredients into the extruder.
- Extruder barrel which is a pipe-like retainer in which the screw turns.
- Screw which is the core of the extruder that conveys the product through the extruder. The flight of the screw pushes the product forward. The screw determines not only the quality of the product but also the output of the extruder. The ALLGRAIN extruder is a single screw type.
- Sleeve plate which is the final assembly for back-pressure build-up for the product as it leaves the extruder.
- Cutting station which ensures that the pre-cooked product is cut into small pieces.
- Gear box, motor, and controls
Quick guidelines for the production of pre-cooked flours include:
a) Low cost pre-cooking. Low cost pre-cooking and mixing technologies which are used to produce quick-to cook flour-based foods, such as weaning foods, and thin and stiff porridge (uji and ugali, respectively). This involves quality assurance right from the time of harvesting the cereals to be processed.
b) Grain cleaning. Grain-cleaning and moisture control which involves cleaning the grains at the farm gate before delivery to the appropriate processor. Primary cleaning involves the removal of debris and all foreign matter, maintaining stable moisture content of approximately 12% and storing the grains in moisture and pest free areas.
c) Primary quality assurance. The processor, upon receiving the grains, has to subject the grains to quality control to ensure that primary quality assurance is attained.
d) Mixing technology. Ensures that the grains are properly mixed. It involves use of a mixer that has 2 two types of unit operations in the course of producing pre-cooked flour products using the extrusion technology:
- The seeds are moistened to attain 18% water content. Mixing seeds do this with water for about 10 min to ensure 95% moisture homogeneity.
- Mixing of flours of different grains to obtain composite flours. This is done for about 10 min for a 20 kg batch.
e) Extrusion technology. This involves introducing the seeds into the pre-cooking equipment slowly until the pressure is built up, which in turn raises the temperature to above 100 0C. Care should be taken not to over-feed the extruder; otherwise, it will jam and break down.
f) Milling and packing. Milling of the final product is done to the desired particle size and packaging is done using the appropriate packaging material, so that the product is labeled and stored ready for marketing.
All Grain Company, the co-developers and operators of this technology were impressed by its ability to increase the production capacity, reducing work burden, achieving product homogeneity and improving product quality & hygiene, as well as improving the overall consumer acceptability of the final products.
The scaling up approaches used involved collaborative private sector and multi-institutional programmes, such as:
1. A collaborative project between All Grain and Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture & Technology (JKUAT) in which the technology was and still is being utilized in the
production of weaning foods in the scaling-up process. The two institutions are presently satisfied with the technology.
2. Contract manufacturing for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs)
Currently All Grain Company is the only enterprise in Kenya utilizing this technology. However, the challenge to future scaling-up is lack of funds for:
1. Capacity building or training and setting up of pilot plants locally and regionally.
2. Improving and multiplying or replicating this technology for further use by beneficiaries.
3. Promotion and marketing of the technology, which are fairly expensive tasks. For example production of technology promotional materials and user manuals is quite expensive since it requires a lot of funds.
4. Fostering Public-Private Partnership (PPP) approaches for scaling up
Currently only (All-grain) is the only company in Kenya utilizing this technology
Table 10: Costs for Installation of ALL GRAIN Food Extruder
|Item||Cost (K Sh.)||Cost (US $)|
|15 HP Motor||30,000||353|
|Cost of 15HP Oil-press||400,000||4706|
|Installation and commissioning||50,000||588|
Simplicity in operation and height from ground were the ey gender considerations in the development of the technology. This was intended to ensure those men, women, young children and the elderly, as well as vulnerable and marginalized groups can effectively use the technology.
In 2008, All Grain Company ltd. entered into a contractual amaranth growing agreement with Bondo Amaranth Farmers Group (BAFAM) from western Kenya. With the assistance of the Ministry of Agriculture, the farmers were trained on the best agronomic practices for growing grain amaranth. ALLGRAIN Co Ltd. has also been sourcing sorghum grain requirements from Kasikeu Sorghum Farmers, thus assuring both farmer groups of a guaranteed market, and hence a source of sustainable livelihoods (see attached annexes 1,2 & 3 on production and incomes for BAFAM and Kasikeu sorghum farmers). On its part, ALLGRAIN Co Ltd. has been able to plan its production
and marketing strategies as a result of an assured source of the right quantity and quality of raw materials. Through the development and use of this technology, ALLGRAIN Co Ltd. has also been able to expand it production capacity, increase its range of product in the market and increased its work-force from 2 to 5. All Grain Company ltd. has successfully utilized the pre-cooking and mixing technologies in manufacturing weaning foods and whole porridge flour utilizing sorghum and amaranth grains. Products made from sorghum and amaranth grains have good nutritional benefits which addresses both house- hold health including vulnerable groups/invalids as well as
food security issues. Currently, a weaning food has been developed by ALLGRAIN Co Ltd. and Jomo Kenyatta University for Agriculture and Technology. The food is manufactured through utilization of both mixing and pre-cooking/extrusion technologies and is currently being fed to children under 2 years in western Kenya on Clinical Trial basis. Flour products of sorghum and amaranth grains which have been pre-cooked have longer shelf lifes (8 months) as compared to non-cooked flours which only last 3 months. Also pre-cooking technology eliminates pathogenic micro-organisms while also increasing the digestibility as well as reducing cooking times thus saving on energy and time.
These increased benefits utilizing these two technologies have made the flours popular and thus increasing their acceptability. The major bottleneck is the fact that the current capacity of the extruder is only 500kg per day. Nevertheless, through the adoption of this technology, amongst other factors, the company has been able to improve its bottom line thereby enabling it to purchase a plot where it hopes to relocate the business in the near future. ALLGRAIN Co Ltd. future projection is to increase it production a capacity through adoption of even more modern technologies so as to engage more farmer groups thereby improving their incomes
QUICK GUIDELINES FOR PRODUCTION OF PRECOOKED FLOUR
Low cost pre-cooking and mixing technologies are used to produce quick-cook flour-based foods, e.g. weaning foods, thin and thick porridges (uji and ugali respectively). This involves quality assurances from the harvesting of the cereals to be processed.
GRAIN CLEANING AND MOISTURE CONTROL
This involves cleaning the grains at the farm gate before delivery to the respective processor. Primary cleaning is removal of debris/foreign matters, stable moisture contents of approx 12% and storing the grains in moisture/pest free area. The processor upon receiving the grains has to subject the grains to quality control to ensure that the primary quality assurance has been attained.
The mixer is used for two types of unit operations in the course of producing pre-cooked flour products using the extrusion technology (see below). The seeds are moistened to attain 18% water content. This is done by mixing both the seeds and water mixing for about 10 minutes to ensure 95% moisture homogeneity. Mixing of flours of different grains to obtain composite flours. This is done for about 10 minutes for a 20 Kg batch.
The seeds are introduced in the pre-cooking equipment slowly until the pressure is built which in turn raises the temperatures to above 100 Deg C. Care shoul d be taken not to over-feed the extruder; otherwise, it will jam and break down.
MILLING AND PACKING
Milling of the final product is done to desired particle size and packaging done using the appropriate packaging material, labeled and stored ready for marketing.
All Grain Company Limited
P.O Box 6843 00200 Nairobi, Kenya
Tel: +254 722 856513
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com
Contact supplier, East Africa Nutraceuticals
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org/ email@example.com
Samuel M Wambugu
Manager, Technology Transfer & Business Development Services (TTBDS) Head and Senior
Food Research Scientist, KIRDI South (“B”) Campus
P.O Box 30650 - 00100 GPO Nairobi, Kenya
Tel: +254 02 555738
Mobile: +254 722 758 781
Fax: +254 02 558995
Salvatory T P Kundi
Principle Agricultural Research Officer, ARI, Ilonga
P.O Box 33; Morogoro, Tanzania
Research Scientist, National Semi-Arid Resources Research Institute (NaSARRI)
P.O Box Soroti, Serere, Soroti, Uganda