CSIR agroprocessing workshop covers key aspects of agro-product and process development

Helen Ramphada, Amelia Woman’s Project, adjusting a lab jack to enhance better mixing of the formulation in the glass beaker

The CSIR Biomanufacturing Industry Development programme hosted a one-week agroprocessing workshop from 1 – 5 June 2015. The aim of the workshop was to share expertise with agro-entrepreneurs and interns in the agro-product and process development sector.

CSIR intern, Vashan Naicker said, “I found the workshop a valuable tool in understanding not only the basics of agro-processing but also great insight into the economics of agro-processing.”

The first day of the workshop covered the theoretical aspects of agro-process and product development, as well as the associated processing equipment, which was followed by intensive practical training that included batch agro-processing, extraction, separation, as well as final product formulation. By the end of the workshop, participants had produced an aqueous cream formulation.

Recapping on the workshop, Helen Ramphadi from Amelia Woman’s Project said she has derived much value from the workshop. “The workshop was very informative in terms of basic agro processing, product formulations, and laboratory housekeeping. For Amelia Woman’s Project the workshop’s outcome will surely change the enterprise’s operations.”

To emphasise Helen’s sentiments, Tumelo Modutwane, ATM Investments said, “The workshop was worthwhile. It covered all the basics, and the practical aspect was critical for me since I want to focus on cosmetic production. I was never exposed to the practical aspects of product formulation before, but through the workshop I learnt how to make a body cream.”

The workshop was presented in an interactive manner with a list of tasks and group activities. This enabled a networking opportunity for CSIR agroprocessing interns and entrepreneurs. Moreover, the course also enabled workshop participants to derive great value by being exposed to modern practices and agro processing scientific infrastructure. In essence, the workshop enhanced interns and entrepreneurs’ know-how and exposed them to current trends in the industry that they play in.