Avocado - Possible Income Generating Activity

Status: Finished
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Avocados are grown fairly easily in Kabondo, which is located in one of two areas in Kenya that can grow them. The community would like to examine the possibility of turning avocados into an income-generating idea including the production of value-added products (such as oil for beauty products or use in cooking/food preparation).

Help us gather research on the possible uses of avocados and its parts (oil, seed, leaves, skin, etc). Any ideas are welcome!

Raul,

Thanks for the information. Given the simple mode of preparation you have outlined, i also want to give it a try. I will share my experiences here.

Eric

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Hi Raul,

I won't be going into town for a couple of weeks and I don't have avocados here (hate to admit it but I don't like to eat them) :O)

I will buy some when I am in town next and will try your experiment out. I think they are in season here.... not really sure.

When you mention the "pressure between two cloths" is that something like an old "apple cider press"? It is used to compress the apple pulp so you can get the juice. If so, these are not that hard, or expensive to build. I used to have plans for one from the internet. If it is something that could be of use, I will try and find it again. Let me know.

Mel

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Hey everyone,

I look forward to your comments after the initial pilot trials.

Raul

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Hi guys!

The experiment is on.... although not quite sure how successfully!

Started with five avocodoes, which gave me 512g of pulp. This bit was easy!

The trouble started when I tried to squash them - this is NOT easy. Tried with my hands, between two solid cake tins, with a sieve... nothing I did would separate much of the liquids from the solids. So eventually had to resort to Raul's suggestion of the blender.

Am not sure on exact quantities, along the way I added about 400ml of water and eventually ended up with a thick liquid which would not get any thinner. I think maybe I should have added more water. Forgot to add the salt (only realised that while typing this).

Heated on low/medium heat for about 2 minutes. It got warm, but not too hot to stick my fingers in. Did not have any way of measuring the temperature.

I now have a jar full of thick, light green liquid. I will leave it alone for a few days and see if it separates....

This has to be the most unusual task I have ever done through Nabuur!

See pictures below.

Found this video on YouTube while looking to see if I could find any instructions (I couldn't). Its about an avocado oil factory that someone set up in Burundi. Its on a much larger scale so not directly relevant to Kabondo, but decided to post it as the drummers are amazing!

Mary

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Hi Mary,

Great first trial. :-)

Only detail is that the ratio of water to avocado meat needed to be 5:1 and you used 1:1 almost so you should have used more like 2,5 Litres of water. The salt is also a key factor because it is what gives the mix a different charge that makes the two sides separate. Any chance for a second home trial?

Great to have the photos too :-)

Very exciting that we are already moving into pilot trials.

Look forward to hearing about more trials and results,

Raul

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Hi Raul

Oops... thought I must have been doing something wrong as it doesn't look like its going to settle. By the time I got to the stage of adding water, I had bits of avocado scattered over a wide area from the unsuccessful attempts to squeeze it, so looks like I got it round the wrong way! I will leave it sitting around for another couple of days just to see if something does happen.

May be able to have another go at some point but not until the weekend at the earliest as will have to go into town to get some more avocadoes. Do you still intend to give it a try?

Mary

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Hi Raul

Unfortunately you were right... no sign of it separating after two days, apart from the top going brown. Had to tip it down the sink! As I said, may have another go, but would be good to hear how others are getting on.

Mary

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Hi, Neighbours its good to hear that ,now can you find as amarket where we can sell them? because in busukuma its easy to start planting.

frank

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There is a company called "Shea Terra Organics" which is based in Fairfax, VA, not far from where I live, which formulates beauty products (mostly lotions, balms) from indigenous African ingredients. The products are sustainably produced and they practice fair trade as well......I will contact the company and inquiry about interest in obatining avacado oils/extracts, etc from Kabondo.

Kim

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Hey Kimberly,

That would be great.

Raul

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I haven't heard back from the company yet, but I will continue looking into more possibilities on this front.

Additionally, I have been looking into extraction techniques and I came across an excellent article, but it requires a subscription to read the whole thing, so if anyone has account access to a library which hold this journal, here is the reference information:

"Avocado oil extraction with appropriate technology for developing countries"
Journal of the American Oil Chemists' Society
Publisher Springer Berlin / Heidelberg
ISSN 0003-021X (Print) 1558-9331 (Online)
Issue Volume 70, Number 8 / August, 1993
Category Short Communication
DOI 10.1007/BF02542610
Pages 821-822
Subject Collection Chemistry and Materials Science
SpringerLink Date Friday, January 05, 2007

Here is the link to the SpringerLink site and to a preview of the article as well:

http://www.springerlink.com/content/v700442703tlwt78/

My husband may still have a university account and I will see if I can get access to the article that way, but there is some useful information within the preview that could be helpful.

I will be in touch.

Kim

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Hi Kim,

I think I had a look at the abstract for that article too but did not try to access it. I might have a try tomorrow at work.

I have bought the raw material for the trial and will try soon.

I will let you all know how I go.

Raul

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Hi Raul

Good luck - hope yours comes out better than mine! Still may have another go, although forgot to buy avocadoes when I was in town yesterday...

Practical Action http://practicalaction.org have a lot of information on their website about appropriate technology for use in developing countries for food processing among many other things.

Most of this is in the Practical Answers section at
http://practicalaction.org/practicalanswers/
There is quite a bit of info about oil extraction but can't much specifically about avocadoes - its mostly focused on nuts and seeds.

However I did find one reference at http://practicalaction.org/?id=food_chain_index which is a list of articles in previous issues of their Food Chain magazine - "Extracting oil from avocado." in issue 11.
Although this particular article is not available for download from the website, they do say they can send copies if you contact them.

They also have a Technical Enquiry Service
http://practicalaction.org/practicalanswers/technical_enquiry_service.ph...

"Practical Action's Technical Enquiry Service supplies, free of charge, technical and developmental information to our target group which includes grassroots development workers, community-based organisations, NGOs and other agencies using appropriate technologies to implement sustainable development."
so this could be another source of advice on how to get the process working, especially as one of their resource centres is in Kenya.

Mary

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Hi Mary,

What do you say if we divide tasks?. You contact them to ask them for a copy of the article and I contact them with a couple of questions I have in regards to the extraction process?

Let me know what you think?

Raul

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Hi Raul

Can do, although would it make sense to do both in one go?

Mary

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