Blog Posts by SoFood

<Live Testing> Product Users / Published January 14, 2017 by Pearl Ray

Pearl Ray

<Live Testing> Product Users

During our feat-full user testing, we realized that although our solar dried products were healthy and nutrient equipped, they simply lacked the flair to impress the young and developing children, especially those between 5-10.

Our product testing phase involved providing specific test samples that is nutrient specific products to deficiency prone age groups.
A nutrient concentrated product-nutrient deficiency prone group matching enabled us to understand our flaws and flairs.
Our product range and their respective target included
1. Moringa Masti- a water based moringa powder energy shake for Growing Children rich in Vitamin A, a greater bet than carrots!
2. SlimSip- Green tea for middle age women extremely rich in antioxidants and alkaloids and several minerals and vitamins.
3. Popeye's Power Pack- spinach soup rich in Iron, Vitamin A , Vitamin C and dietary fibers, a suitable choice for all age groups.
4. Sprouty M&Ms- dried sprouts with convenience of ready-for-consumption. for all age groups, rich in protein , Vitamin C and Vitamin K.
5. King Kale- an energy shake made from dried kale powder for all, rich in Vitamin A, Vitamin K and Vitamin C.

So we surveyed our potential users by distributing test samples to 10 women, 20 children, 20 other men and women of random age groups.
All of specimen users of spinach soup and Sprouty M&Ms enjoyed the experience and demanded more, for their friends and families.
While the women enjoyed and realized the benefits of green tea, the children flinched at the taste of KaleKing, but rather satisfied with Moringa Masti. They shared their common desire for a more sweeter taste, which led us to knock the doors of Our food Technologist Friend, Ms. Youthika Chauhan.

Key Findings :
1. 90 % of women liked the green tea
2. 80% of children liked Moringa Masti, there was a general demand for making it sweeter.
3. Everyone agreed that the Sprouty M&Ms and Spinach soup were a good option for Breakfast and Dinner respectively
4. King Kale Shake needed a serious taste makeover!

<Live Testing> Technology User- Farmer / Published January 14, 2017 by Pearl Ray

Pearl Ray

<Live Testing> Technology User- Farmer

Meet Vikas Mulay, a resident farmer from Kingaon Jattu,a small village in, Vidharba, Maharashtra. He talks about how the installation of solar conduction driers has enabled the security of a product market. It has been always hard to strike a balance between lesser and more production, as the former was uneconomic while the latter lead to rotting. After being trained to use these installations, he expresses excitment at the conducive parallel economy which has resulted into a good financial support from additional income, and a year long market. Farmers have reported an additional daily income of $1, summing up to $250-$300 per year. Thus, sustaining them financially and independently.,eliminating causes like price volatility, income instability and farmer debts.

<Expert Feedback 2> / Published January 14, 2017 by Pearl Ray

Pearl Ray

<Expert Feedback 2>

Our team got in touch with Ms.Jyoti Sontakke, Assistant Professor, Food Engineering and Technology Department, at Institute of Chemical Technology, Mumbai. ( and also my Elective Course Professor and Instructor !)
We explained to her our relatively simple technology of solar conduction drying, which utilizes all forms of heat transfer: that is conduction, convection and radiation, and also its immense utility in empowering farmers with value added products. Here is what she had to say:

Solar Conduction Drying is an excellent idea for reducing post harvest losses. With the smart design of harnessing maximum solar energy, this technology is cost effective as compared to other energy-guzzling drying techniques. Installing such units across India, which is a tropical country, where ample solar energy is available, this can be the next big revolution for revenue generation for farmers.
The dried form of the products they have processed till now, had taste and nutrients preserved as before. The most attractive part of this agricultural nexus nutrition project is that it ensures a perennial supply of seasonal vegetables, thus avoiding their unavailability in market, a boon for costumers and marketers as well.
Being a food wastage expert myself, I believe that the project carried out by Sofood has certainly made a difference in the local community. They have harnessed the two challenges of food wastage and food insecurity to create opportunities for income stability and nutrition driven food security.

We are extremely thankful to Ms.Sontakke for her useful insight, as we strive towards our 9 billion by 2050 goal relentlessly.

Conceptualize, An in-depth peek. / Published January 14, 2017 by Pearl Ray

Pearl Ray

Conceptualize, An in-depth peek.

Solar conduction dryer uses all three modes of heat transfer Conduction, Convection and Radiation. 1. The solar rays are incident on the outer covering of the dryer, which is made of a material which blocks the UV rays from entering the dryer. This ensures good nutrient, quality and aroma of the food items to be maintained. 2. Heat entrapped in the dryer, removes excess water from the materials to be dried, thus preventing microbial activity and rotting. 3. The trays are made of food grade material, which are good conductors of heat, thus absorbing a generous amount of heat. 4. The geometrical shape of the dryer slants from a chimney to the end of the tray, thus facilitating natural draft convection of moisture laden air out through the chimney. 5. Hence, using the three modes of heat transfer- Conduction, Convection and Radiation, the efficiency of this dryer is 40% higher than other conventional dryers. 6. What’s more? It is compact, modular, with less maintenance. Requiring no source of energy such as electricity, this eliminates the carbon footprint, in the agricultural supply-chain operations.

<Expert Feedback 1> / Published January 11, 2017 by Pearl Ray

Pearl Ray

<Expert Feedback 1>

We got Ms.Shradha Vijan, Head Nutritionist of Bombay Hospital, Mumbai to share her insights on the benefits of Sofood's targeted products, dehydrated green leafy vegetables and sprouts, as soups and shakes. SoFood team thanks her for the valuable insight and recommendation.

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