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Tanzania: Extending fruit shelf life without refrigeration

In Tanzania, local innovator Araika Mkulo has designed a solution for cooling fruits; it is sourced from Acacia tree and can be used to extend the shelf life of fruits and vegetables which cannot survive the room temperature without the help of a refrigerator.

“We source the gum from the Acacia tree which are indigenous here in Tanzania and we take it to the lab to change it into a liquid form and then we package it. All ingredients are safe to consume, naturally sourced and chemical free,” she said in an interview with The Citizen.

According to her, the normal shelf life of most fruits and vegetables is around five days including transportation time but the solution can extend the shelf life for up to 20 days. Ms Mkulo said by extending the shelf life, her production prevents the quantity of organic waste generated in the city and also the energy used in households from the reduced refrigeration.

The solution would also mitigate the post-harvest losses of the food products as majority of Tanzanians do not own refrigerators. “It’s estimated that 18 to 32 percent of fruits and vegetables in Tanzania spoil before they get to a plate,” she said.

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