Concept Design of Fruit Preservation Product for Mozambican Smallholders

University essay from Lunds universitet/Produktutveckling

Abstract: Being one of the poorest countries in the world in UN’s Human Development Ranking, Mozambique struggles with both poverty and malnutrition. This runs counter to the fact that Mozambique is a country rich in natural resources with a great supply of crops. Research has shown that the lack of preserving methods within the agricultural field is a contributing factor that strongly affects the countries prospect of becoming more self- sufficient. In relation to this, researchers at Lund University at the Department of Food Technology have come up with a novel technique for drying fruit. The technique utilizes breathable fabrics (membrane textiles) and is referred to as membrane assisted hygienic solar concentration. The aim of this master thesis was to develop a fruit preservation product for the Mozambican smallholder farmer, making use of these membrane textiles. In addition to initial technical objectives, field studies had to be conducted to discover user needs and fulfil a user centered design. The field studies were conducted in the rural areas outside of Maputo, Mozambique and were mainly addressing the smallholder farmers. They included both observational studies and interviews with focus on present preservation techniques and methods. All findings and insights from the research were interpreted into a product design specification, which worked as a comprehensible base for the concept generation. Using screening methods ten viable concepts were narrowed to three for refinement and selection. The one selected concept is a bag designed in a circular shape with a zip sealing running the whole way around the circular cut. This enables the bag to have a varied size of the opening which facilitates the user during different operations. In case of production issues relating to costs a derivative to this concept was created. The derivative take use of the same working principle but is designed in the shape of a square and an isosceles with a straight zip seal.

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