Fruits and vegetables for all seasons - FruVaSe: Improved resource-efficient processing techniques and new market solutions for surplus fruits and vegetables for rural development in Sub-Saharan Africa. A three-and-a-half-year project that sees to address deficiencies in vitamins and minerals in human nutrition and waste of fruits and vegetables along the value chain that are major constraints in Sub-Saharan Africa. Seasonality and long distances between production areas and potential consumption centres further contribute to the problem. The major aim of the three-year FruVaSe project is to improve nutrition and economically empower women in East Africa through improved, sustainable processing of highly nutritious surplus fruits and vegetables (FVs) and their by-products in a life-cycle approach.
The specific objectives of the project are:
- Retain nutritional value, shelf-life and food safety of healthy, nutritious, affordable products.
- Reduce seasonality of food insecurity and food and nutrient losses.
- Investigate the impact of processing techniques on selected fruits and leafy vegetables in form of e.g. juices, long-keeping relishes, concentrated pastes, additives to drinks, and smoothies with respect to storability, vitamins and micronutrients content and consumers’ acceptability.
- Develop processing technologies in a resource-efficient autonomous systems approach considering the life cycle concept for organic material and water (water re-use).
- Establish a model pilot site, adapted to the local conditions and integrating the optimized technologies.