Dehydration of fruits and vegetables is a promising food processing technology that increases shelf life of products for almost a year. It is a value addition process that can save 1/3rd losses of seasonal agro-products. Solar dryers can be used to carry food dehydration without relying on electricity.
Solar dryers have found limited application due to high capital investment of about INR 10,000/m2. All these dryers are based on convection as mode of heat transfer and hence are complex and less efficient.
A technology developed by innovator is based on conduction as mode of heat transfer, giving better efficiency, reduces processing time by 40% and costs INR 1500/m2(85% saving) reducing capital cost considerably. Fabrication can be done locally from alluminium, onsite insulation and plastic sheet.
Patent application is filed and innovators are working with UNEP and Bayer(Germany) for technology transfer to other countries and to reduce cost further and increase life of dryer to 10 years.
Pilot plant and quality control lab set up of 100kg/day is established through funds from United Nations Environment Programme