Updated Jan 16, 2018

Low-Cost Centrifuge for Drying Avocados

http://globalchallenge.mit.edu/teams/view/601

Tristan Riom

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A team of students from MIT's D-Lab Development team traveled to Arusha in January 2015 to work on avocado dryers and conduct a market assessment. The MIT student team has pivoted away from drying and toward the development of a centrifuge to prepare avocado for cold pressing. They won $5,000 in the MIT IDEAS challenge and continue development in the D-Lab Design class. The IDEAS funding will s...
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A team of students from MIT's D-Lab Development team traveled to Arusha in January 2015 to work on avocado dryers and conduct a market assessment. The MIT student team has pivoted away from drying and toward the development of a centrifuge to prepare avocado for cold pressing. They won $5,000 in the MIT IDEAS challenge and continue development in the D-Lab Design class. The IDEAS funding will support technical development of the centrifuge and partner engagement on the ground.
How does your innovation work?
In Leguruki, a rural Tanzanian village, about 50% of the avocado crop goes to waste. Harvesting and selling avocados produces such a low return due to the commonality and short shelf life of avocados that most people allow their avocados to just fall to the ground and be eaten by livestock or rot. Community members self-identified avocado excess as a potential area for an innovative, income-generating solution. Attempts at avocado oil extraction via drying and pressing have been made in Leguruki. Our team traveled to Tanzania over IAP 2015 to meet with community partners and co-create solar dryers. We know that drying and pressing is an effective method of oil production, but we are now also aware that heat from the drying process degrades the resulting oil. The existing avocado oil market calls for cold-pressed oil, meaning all extraction processes must occur under 50°C. We want to create a low-power, low-cost decanter centrifuge to extract avocado oil without degrading oil quality in the process. This is the most promising method for oil extraction due to the independence from weather conditions and the ability to produce a consistent product. This project only succeeds in its income-generation goal if the end product is commercially viable, so the development of extraction processes that lead to high-quality oil is vital.
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Stage 2: Research & Development

Registered in Tanzaniain Tanzania

Focus Areas:

Agriculture and Processing & Production

Agriculture and Processing & ProductionSEE LESS

Implemented In:

Tanzania

TanzaniaSEE LESS

1
Country Implemented In

Milestone

Date Unknown
Created
Date Unknown
New Country Implemented In
Tanzania