Solar processing

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

Description of the innovative solution

Circular economy Preservation Solar energy Convenient processing Waste

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...

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.

Examples and additional resources

Real-world examples

See this solution in action in different contexts and settings around the world

Additional resources

Learn more about this solution through studies, articles, business cases, and other information

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.
Shared by PRE-LAUNCH RESEARCH TEAM

Contacts

Connect to others working on and with this solution around the world

No contacts yet.

Pathways to uptake

Engage with our “backcasting tool” to imagine and design “pathways to uptake” for this solution in your setting.

This process involves defining a future vision of this solution being used in your context, and then working “backwards” to identify necessary steps to achieve this vision by 2030. Going through this exercise as an individual or with a team can help to clarify the WHAT/WHEN/HOW of moving a solution (or package of solutions) towards having major impact. We hope these pathways will inspire outside-of-the-box thinking, creative approaches, and actionable concrete steps to move ideas into action.

Pathway builder
image