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Solar Tunnel & Cabinet Dryer
Background
- Up to 50% of the fruits and vegetable and 25% of the harvested food grain rotten in the tropical countries
- During the harvest the high quantity of food can not be sold!
- Drying in the direct sun has the risk of damaging the complete harvest by rainfall
- By drying the farmer can have more income and for a longer time
- Such a dryer can be built in one day for less than 70$! And you really can make money with it by selling the good quality Product!

Conventional coffee dryers consume large amounts of wood and electricity to dry the beans after the washing process. An estimated 16,000 acres of forest are destroyed to supply the firewood used to dry the coffee production each harvest.
The solar drying process gives small growers the capacity to dry their coffee beans themselves, which adds value to the product since dry beans are stable and much more valuable than beans that must be sold wet.

Benefits of solar drying:
 Dried foods are tasty, nutritious, the nutritional value and flavor of food is only minimally affected by drying
 Dried foods are high in fiber and carbohydrates and low in fat, making them healthy food choices
 Vitamin A is retained during drying
 Storage space is minimal, easy-to-store
 Transportation costs are reduced; dried Products weigh only about 1/6 of the fresh food product
 The energy input is less than what is needed to freeze or can
 easy-to-prepare; solar food drying is a very simple skill
 longer storage of dried products (because of more complete drying)
 Can open new markets and income and is a good start-up technology. It improves the bargaining position of farmers. Sometimes farmers sell at very low prices during the harvest season
 You can have up to 50% more productivity in agriculture
 For diabetics dried fruit prepared without adding sugar is a healthy choice instead of desserts.
 Dried fruit can be used in stews, soups and casseroles or enjoyed as snacks. It can also be added to cereals for breakfast or used in making ice cream and baked products

Compared with open-air drying
 Protection of the drying products from insects but also from birds, dogs, especially for drying meat and fish.
 the product is hygienic because microorganisms, insects and flies are killed
 protection of rain
 Protection of pollution by dust etc.
 Protection of the wind which can blow away the food.
 reduction of drying time (reduces changes through spoilage)
 no need to turn the product because air passes both sides of the product
 no loss of colors of the product (tomato, paprika powder etc)
 Drying is faster because inside the dryer it is warmer than outside
 Less risk of spoilage because of the speed of drying. (if the drying process is slow the fruit start to ferment and the product is spoilt).
 It is labour saving. The product can be left in the dryer overnight or during rain.
 The quality of the product is better in terms of nutrients, hygiene and color
but:
 more expensive than with direct sun drying (Solar dryer costs about 100 $)
 if you have huge quantities to dry you need big dryers

Can be used for:
- fruits (apples, apricots, grapes, pineapples and banana taste great when dried, melon, plums, beets, mangoes, dates, figs)
- vegetables (cabbage, broccoli, peppers, herbs, onions, squash, tomatoes, asparagus, celery, potatoes, peas, carrots, peppers, cassava, yams, red cedar, mahogany)
- corn, maize, rise, cassava, cocoa
- fish, meat, mushrooms
- spices (dried chili peppers, garlic)
- medical plants
- tea, coffee, cacao, tobacco, cashew and macadamia, milk, hay, copra (kernel of the coconut)
but also clothing, wool, kindling and also for treating timber easily dried: Apples, apricots, coconuts, dates, figs, guavas, and plums are fruits that dry quite easily, while avocados, bananas, breadfruit, and grapes. Most vegetables, chilies, corn, potatoes, cassava root, onion flakes, and the leaves of various herbs and spices.
more difficult to dry: Asparagus, beets, broccoli, carrots, celery, various greens, pumpkin, squash and tomatoes
- Fruits are ideal for preservation by drying since they are high in sugar and acid, which act to preserve the dried fruit.
- Vegetables are more challenging to preserve since they are low in sugar and acid
- Drying meat requires extreme caution since it is high in protein what invites microbial growth
- Fish drying, for example, requires thorough cleaning of the drier after each batch