Avocado - Possible Income Generating Activity

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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!

Hi Melissa,

Great ideas. I am not familiar with the billy tea technique. The issue there is that you would be working with two layers that are quite heavy and the quantity you would be able to process per batch might be too low.

I also think a bicycle based technique could be very interesting. I think I might have some old plans that we used to centrifuge honey in Gbongay.

Washing machines are widely used in some home based food processing businesses. I have even read about a combination of a washing machine and a bicycle mechanism.

I will probably have my results by the end of the week. The avocado quality last weekend was not very good but I hope it has at least around 10% content of oil.

Look forward to hearing your results of the trials.

Raul

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Hi Melissa

I am sittling here laughing - you have put some wonderful pictures in my head :)

Like the ideas though. I do have some more avocadoes, but I think I will stick to trying to get the oil to settle out, or my kitchen will never be the same again!

Hi Raul

Will send an amail to Practical Action, see if I can get hold of a copy of the Food Chain article. I will leave you to discuss the technical details with their enquiry service as you understand that far better than I do.

Mary

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Hi everyone,

I haven't been to town to do the shopping yet, but should in the next couple of days.

Raul, I have been thinking about this, and I think you said somewhere previous that using a centrifuge to seperate the oil was the way to go. If that is correct, I have been thinking about the Australian tradition of billy tea. I am not sure if you are familiar with the "bush" technique of making billy tea where you put the tea in the billy, boil the water and then swing the billy around by the handle. You swing your arm like a windmill whilst holding onto the billy. The force stops the boiling water from coming out and burning you. Unless you hit a tree branch or somthing like my brother did! :O)

Anyway, I was thinking it may work if you put the avocado pulp in a container and swing it around really fast. Probably would attach a rope and actually seal the container (unlike with the billy) and then just swing it around your head. I will probably end up covered in avocado, we will see what happens when I get my avocados.

Sort of along those lines, maybe we could use some of the techniques I saw in Ken Hargesheimers information. I am talking about the bicycle equipment. I don't imagine it would be too difficult to rig up a small pedal powered machine.....hmmmmm, maybe we could incorporate livestock to operate the machinery, kind of like the old grain mills....okay, okay..... I'm getting ahead of myself here. :O)

I shall do the trials and see how I go first!

Mel

P.S I did actually think about somehow strapping the pulp to the inside of the barrel in my front loading washing machine and putting it on the spin cycle, but I don't think my husband would be too happy with avocado pulp throughout the washing machine! Besides, somehow I have a sneaking suspicion that not many households in Kabondo would have a front loading washing machine.... let alone an electric washing machine of any kind. :O)

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I think it would.

So, should be have a go?

Raul

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Hello Everyone:

Has anyone read anything about cold-pressed extraction techniques? It's similar to what's done with olives and may produce a better yield.....I will find more about it and get back to you all.....just wanted to throw it out as another possibility.

Have a wonderful day,

Kim

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Hi Raul

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

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

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 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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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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Hey Kimberly,

That would be great.

Raul

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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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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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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

Avocado 012.jpg
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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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