Solar processing

This solution was shared by PRE-LAUNCH RESEARCH TEAM , 14 May 2021

Print date: 14 April 2024 10:30

Description of the innovative solution

Circular economy Preservation Solar energy Convenient processing Waste Perishable food Agricultural development Agricultural extension Urban farming Urban planning Market access

Nutritious foods are generally prone to microorganism growth, which can result in significant post-harvest losses across the supply chain and impact food quality and safety. Solar processing, specifically solar drying, offers an environmentally sustainable and cost-effecient method of processing and preserving nutritious, highly perishable foods such as vegetables, fruits, fish and meats. Solar drying may be especially advantageous in areas where distribution infrastructure and cold chain is limited. Solar drying equipment uses the thermal energy of the sun and allows for management of moisture content, air temperature, humidity and airflow which helps to preserve the flavor, texture and color of the food. The equipment varies in complexity and capacity, allowing both small-scale and industrial processors to acquire and operate the technologies. Solar drying can remove up to 80% of moisture content, preventing growth of microorganisms and thereby extending shelf life and avoiding contaminants. Solar dried foods may be of high quality and can add value for surplus crops that would otherwise have gone to waste.

Supply chain segment

Processing and packaging

Maturity level



Food safety Food availability Food affordability Food desirability

SDG target

SDG 2: Zero Hunger SDG 3: Good Health and Well-being SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production


Peri-urban Rural Marine/Coastal

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Additional resources

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Solar dryers for agricultural products in Asia and Africa: An innovation landscape approach
Scientific paper
This review paper presents the different types of solar dryers that are widely used in Africa and Asia. The effects of their use on product quality, as well as their economic, environmental, and social impacts, are highlighted.


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