An Advanced Freeze-Drying System in Malindi, Kenya
For a farming and forestry project in Malindi a group of students from Eindhoven did research after freeze-drying as a solution for sustainable production from fruits for juice and other products. Conventional freeze-drying also uses a vacuum for efficiency, but in contrast to the traditional approach, the AFD system replaces steam injectors, minimizing its energy requirements even more.
This has been done as a feasibility study, preparing for a decision for investment and implementation. A number of scenarios have been developed. These scenarios consider various power supply alternatives, including solar photovoltaic (PV), grid connection, and alternative fuels.
Market research indicates a significant demand for processed fruits with extended shelf life in Malindi and neighboring regions. Freeze-dried fruits, known for their longer shelf life and retained nutritional value, in general have gained popularity among consumers.
A Multi-Criteria Analysis (MCA) was conducted to assess non-financial factors, considering criteria such as environmental impact, social acceptance, scalability, and technological
feasibility. The analysis concluded that the AFD system exhibits favorable scores across all criteria, indicating its suitability for implementation in Malindi.
The students concluded: “The objective is to understand the priorities of key stakeholders through interviews, including local farmers, the client, and local and international
importers of the final product. This stakeholder engagement allows for the determination of weighting factors and the overall evaluation of the different scenarios. By involving these central stakeholders and considering their perspectives, the MCA provides a more
holistic assessment of the scenarios. This approach incorporates diverse viewpoints and priorities which aim for informed decision-making. Ultimately, the MCA provides valuable insights into the feasibility and potential impact of each scenario, enlightening the selection of the most favourable option for the implementation of the AFD system in Malindi, Kenya.”