Limult Cocoa Yam Processing Factory

Colocasia esculenta popularly known as cocoyam is a tropical, perennial crop. It is a starchy tuber crop with three parts namely; corm, stem and leaves, which is grown basically for edible root. It can also be grown as an ornamental plant for the beautification of the environment as well as a medicinal plant.

Cocoyam has its origin from Asia or Southeast Asia as some researchers have found out and it is a known staple crop in most developing countries of Africa. It can also be found in India, USA, Japan as well as Singapore.

Cocoyam can be processed into more stable food so that shelf-life can be extended and to process it into more consumable forms. These include poi (fresh or fermented paste), cocoyam flour, cereal base, chips, sun-dried slices, grits, and drum-dried flakes. Cocoyam can be used industrially in making syrups which can be used in jams, jellies, and soft drinks. Proper processing method to stabilizing corms and cocoyam flours could resolve the problem of food security in cocoyam producing areas. As a result of various potentials of cocoyam, this crop can ameliorate the problems of food insecurity in most developing countries. The industrial application will also help in boosting the economy of most countries. Modern technology can be used in processing cocoyam to meet the international standards, hence facilitate exportation of some of cocoyam products.

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Limult Sweet Potato Processing Factory

Sweet potato is a major root crop utilized widely for diverse food applications. Processing enables the usability of sweet potato in various forms for longer durations. Post-harvest processing of sweet potato involves grading and sorting, cleaning, peeling, drying or secondary processing and storage. Commercial utility of sweet potato is comprised of conventional and composite ingredient-based foods, starch, and industrial products. 

Many parts of the sweet potato plant are edible, including the root, leaves, and shoots.

Sweetpotato vines also provide the basis for a high-protein animal feed.

Sweetpotato use has diversified considerably over the last four decades. With high starch content, it is well suited to processing and has become an important source of raw material for starch and starch-derived industrial products.

Added value for farmers comes from a variety of products and ingredients made from sweetpotato root including flour, dried chips, juice, bread, noodles, candy, and pectin.

New products include liquors and a growing interest in the use of the anthocyanin pigments in the purple varieties for food colorings and use in the cosmetics industry.

Processing and Utilization

Sweet potato roots and other plant parts are used as human food, animal feed, and processing industry. For industrial processing, starch, sugars, and natural colorants are the major inter-mediate products that can be used in both food and non food processing industry. Sweet potato varieties with high levels of dry matter (35–41%), total starch (25–27%), and extractable starch (20–23%) are available for starch processing. There are many small and medium factories. The process for manufacturing sweet potato starch is basically similar to the starch extraction from other sources. The roots are ground in limewater (pH 8.6–9.2) to prevent browning due to polyphenol oxidase, to dissolve pigments, and to flocculate the impurities. The extracted starch is separated from the pulp by thoroughly washing over a series of screens, bleaching with sodium hypochlorite, and then settling by gravity or centrifugation. In small‐scale establishments, starch is stored wet in concrete tanks or sun‐dried to a moisture con-tent of about 12%, pulverized and screened. Centrifugation and mechanical drying, such as flash dryer, are commonly used for medium‐scale factories. Sweet potato starch is used in the production of traditional noodles, vermicelli, thickening agents, or converted into sugar syrups, which are used in many processed food products. The sweet potato starch and sugars are also utilized in the production of fuel alcohol, monosodium glutamate, microbial enzymes, citric acid, lactic acid, and other chemicals.

Limult Cocoa Beans and Types

Cocoa is the plant from which chocolate is made. Bitter chocolate is produced by pressing roasted cocoa kernels (seeds) between hot rollers. Cocoa powder is produced by squeezing the fat (cocoa butter) from bitter chocolate and powdering the remaining material. Sweet chocolate is produced by adding sugar and vanilla to bitter chocolate. White chocolate contains sugar, cocoa butter, and milk solids.

Long regarded as a food treat, cocoa is now used by some people as medicine. Cocoa seed is used for infectious intestinal diseases and diarrhea, asthma, bronchitis, and as an expectorant for lung congestion. The seed coat is used for liver, bladder, and kidney ailments; diabetes; as a tonic; and as a general remedy. Cocoa butter is used for high cholesterol.

Some people apply cocoa butter to the skin to treat wrinkles and to prevent stretch marks during pregnancy.

In manufacturing, cocoa butter is used as a base for various ointments and suppositories made by drug companies.

Types of Cocoa Beans

CRIOLLO: The rare bean

 The Criollo beans are the finest & rarest form of cocoa beans. Character : These beans are fruit forward & are highly aromatic. They lack bitterness and have rich secondary notes.

Availability : It only accounts for only 2% of the global cocoa produced as they are extremely vulnerable to environmental threats & have a low yield as the trees produce very limited pods. Farmers find this crop extremely difficult to produce, which is due to both low yield and high susceptibility to pest attacks as the beans are naturally sweet in taste. This leads to the constantly diminishing availability of this bean.

Appearance: The Criollo pods are usually red or purple in colour & have a grainy uneven surface. The colour of the beans ranges from white to pale pink, depending on whether it is derived from a freshly opened pod or otherwise.

Native Region: The Criollo tree is native to Central & Southern America, the Caribbean islands & Sri Lanka.

FORASTERO: The Robust bean

The Forastero beans are commonly referred to as bulk cocoa. They are the most widely produced cocoa variety in the world, contributing to almost 80 -85% of the world’s total cocoa produce. 

Character :They are bitter in taste and don’t have a secondary flavor supporting it like the Criollo. The exterior surface of the cocoa pod is relatively smooth & harder in comparison to the Criollo pod. The flavor profile is strong and earthy and needs to be mixed with superior quality cocoa for added taste.

Availability : These beans are available in abundance and account for about 80-85% of the world’s cocoa. Unlike the Criollo beans, the Forastero beans are not susceptible to diseases and have a much higher yield, making them the chosen variety for cocoa producers due to their robustness.

Appearance: When freshly cut open, the colour of the beans is purple and that of the pod is yellow. 

Native Region: Generally produced in Ghana, Nigeria, Ivory Coast, New Guinea, Brazil, Malaysia & Indonesia.

TRINITARIO: The Hybrid bean

 The Trinitario beans are a natural hybrid resulting for the cross pollination between the Criollo and Forastero beans.

Character : Trinitario beans have the robustness & high yield of Forastero beans along with the sublime taste of Criollo beans. However the grade of this cocoa varies from average to superior.

Availability : They account for 10%-13% of the global cocoa production.

Appearance: The colour of Trinitario pods vary in shape & colour as it is a hybrid. The beans are white to creamy in colour.

Native Region: It first came into existence on the island of Trinidad after the local criollo crops were destroyed by a hurricane & new Forestaro crops were replanted. This gave birth to natural hybrids as an outcome of natural cross pollination between the old Criollo crop & newly planted Forastero crops. Trinitario has the strength of a Forastero bean to fight against diseases and the taste of a Criollo bean. They are also found in the Caribbean islands, Venezuela and Colombia and also in some parts of South-East Asia.