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31.07.2023 - News article

Fair, organic and sustainable: Twiga Sun Fruits produces dried pineapple in Uganda

With the aim of providing a smallholders’ cooperative in the Ugandan sub-county of Kangulumira with future prospects, a fair income and a sustainable increase in prosperity, the Austrian company Twiga Sun Fruits GmbH recently launched a project for the production of solar-dried pineapple: organic, fair and meeting European quality standards. The devices used to peel, core and cut the pineapple were donated by KRONEN.

Uganda is situated in central eastern Africa, directly on the equator. Its location and outstanding soil quality make Uganda predestined for high and high-quality yields of crops all year round. Uganda is also, however, one of the poorest and least developed countries in the world.

Until recently, the partners in a smallholders’ cooperative in Kangulumira produced around 4,800 tons of fresh organic pineapple per year. Most of the pineapple grown was sold at the local market – with high post-harvest losses and low sales revenue. Some of the crops yielded were further processed in small tunnel dryers, but this type of processing involves many disadvantages and above all significant losses. Against this background, the production approach used by the farmers has now been transformed with the help of Twiga Sun Fruits GmbH from the Austrian town of Bludenz.

Producing 8 tons of dried pineapple per year

The technology was installed on site in the spring, and production then commenced. Since then, the production has already proven to be highly successful. The pineapple selected to be dried is cored with a grid cutter and then cut into 10 mm-thick slices using the MASS manual pineapple slicer. The devices were donated to the project by KRONEN GmbH from Kehl am Rhein. After being manually cut into segments, the fruit is gently dried at a stable temperature of 60 °C for approx. 20 hours using a cabinet dryer from the company Innotec Ingenieursgesellschaft mbH.

With this method, 135 g of dried fruit can be produced from a fresh pineapple weighing 2 kg. Twiga Sun Fruits places value on leaving as much added value as possible in Uganda while also taking a sustainable approach. The dried fruit is therefore also packaged directly in Kangulumira in an inert gas atmosphere.

This new approach aims to produce 8 tons of dried pineapple per year, thus significantly increasing the cooperative’s production volume. It processes around 120 tons of raw produce, namely solely good product, per year. The high quality standard and stable production volume enable the cooperative to establish itself in international trade. After successfully launching the new production facility, the project partners now aim to further increase the production volume to 150 tons of dried pineapple per year.