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Village Scale Leaf Concentrate Process (Nicaragua)

Alongside this industrial production there is a village process, or cottage industry, using a simplified system applicable in developing countries. In use in several third world countries, this process is similarly based on heat coagulation.

For instance, in the method applied in Nicaragua by the association SOYNICA

• Lucerne is washed, straight after harvest, in clean water,

• It is then pulped (vertical or horizontal pulper) and pressed in cheap and simple machines that can be made in good local workshops,

• The green juice containing the proteins is brought quickly to the boil,

• The floating protein curd is creamed off and then pressed to dewater it,

• The moist cake obtained can then be eaten directly or be dried, crumbled and kept in sealed packets. The by-product fiber can be used fresh by animals or sun-dried for later use. The brown juice can either be drunk by animals or used as fertilizer.

Comparatively, the quantity of protein recovered in this way is somewhat lower than that achieved industrially (about 5 %). The pressing is much less effective. Also the industrial LC is drier. However, the village process has the advantage of being able to be very simply set up in villages having available sufficient cultivable land and water.


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