2011 MatookE

Optimization of Drying Condition for Matooke

Banana is an important crop in Uganda; it is a staple food for more than 70% of Uganda’s population and is a source of household income. It is grown on about 1.5 million ha. representing 38% of arable land and consumed by majority of people in Uganda.

The most common type of banana grown in Uganda is the cooking type, the triploid acuminate genome group (AAA-EA) locally called matooke. Uganda produces about 9.6 million tonnes per year of banana and plantain (matooke), however, about 30-40% is lost due to poor handling, lack appropriate processing technologies and bulk transportation, which are currently the main challenges for trade and export, and diversified utilization of matooke. Studies have shown potential for value addition of matooke through drying and processing the dried matooke to different banana products.

However, these findings have remained at experimental level and thus require adapting them to commercial applications. Drying being a key factor in the processing of matooke, the main factors which affect the drying need to be addressed and these include: source of energy for drying; dryer design and operating conditions; and characteristics of the material to be dried. These factors are important for the adaptation of drying technologies for banana in Uganda. The main objective of the study is to investigate the drying kinetics and optimize the drying conditions for matooke with both optimal product and consumer quality attributes. The findings of the study will have a great impact on poverty reduction strategies already being implemented in Uganda by contributing to increased household income through value addition approaches.

in cooperation with The Presidential initiative for Banana Industrial Development (PIBID)

responsible : Dr. John B. Kawongolo