New report explores uses of natural heat for food production and processing.
Geothermal energy, the flow of heat energy radiating from the earth’s core, provides unique opportunities for cost efficient, sustainable food production and processing in developing countries, says a new report published by FAO. The report is written by three specialists at Matís as well as Minh Van Nguyen, a lecturer and researcher at the Faculty of Food Technology, Nha Trang University, Vietnam, who was a post-doctoral researcher at Matís.
In some developing economies, as much as half of all food produced is lost post-harvest – that’s due in part to a lack of affordable energy for food processing, according to “Uses of Geothermal Energy in Food and Agriculture”.
This makes the use of heat energy for drying foods, pasteurizing milk and sterilizing produce especially interesting for developing countries, where increased food processing can give a boost to food security.
Food drying can prolong the shelf life of nutritious foods like fish and vegetables and make them available year-round, including in times of drought.
Geothermal energy is also a prime source for heating greenhouses, soils, and water for fish farming, the report says.
Developing countries that have much to gain from harnessing heat energy for agriculture include those in the so-called Ring of Fire along the Pacific Plate, such as Mexico, Indonesia, the Philippines and various countries along the Pacific Coast of South America. So do Ethiopia and Kenya in Africa’s Rift Valley, and transitioning economies in Eastern Europe, including Romania and Macedonia.
For additional information, please contact Sigurjón Arason at Matís.
From FAO website.