Dried Vegetables Market Overview
Recently, various semi-finished products have become increasingly popular: frozen pickled or otherwise prepared meat products, dough products, including fillers (dumplings, pancakes, etc.) and vegetables. Such goods occupy a considerable segment of the food market. But vegetables harvested in such a simple way as drying are practically not used: except for a few dried fruits and berries, only mushrooms are still sold in this form.
But drying vegetables will solve the problems of their transportation using special vehicles equipped with refrigerators and thermostats and storage in the absence of a refrigerator - for example, during a long drive out of the house.
This is not to mention that dried vegetables take up much less storage space than raw or frozen vegetables. And there is no need to talk about shelf life - with proper storage, it is almost unlimited.
But domestic manufacturers are reluctant to associate with this type of production: it is considered unclaimed and unprofitable. In fact, this is not so. There is indeed a small demand for dried vegetables, but in this case, not the lack of demand is the reason for the lack of supply, but just the opposite: the fact that the consumer is not familiar with dried vegetables came precisely from the producer’s unwillingness to engage in this business.
Thus, with the right calculation and competent business management, there will be practically no competitors in the business of manufacturing dried vegetables: large agro-industrial complexes, as a rule, will not complicate their lives by processing their own products, and small producers are simply not able to afford the appropriate equipment, are not to mention the construction of a workshop.
But there will be no problems with sales in any case: a domestic buyer quickly realizes the usefulness of dried products, and for the first time there will be enough buyers from other countries: the same China and Korea, for example, are willing to buy such products (especially cabbage, carrots, onions and garlic), and many European countries restore these vegetables or produce many products from them: chips, seasonings, sauces, etc.
Room, staff and equipment for the production of dried vegetables
As you might guess, the production of dried vegetables belongs to food production, therefore, compliance with not only the current construction, but also sanitary norms and rules is mandatory and will be monitored by the relevant (sanitary and epidemiological) regional and state bodies.
According to the current legislation, in addition to standard building standards, the following sanitary standards should be adhered to: SanPiN 08/18/2019.548-96 "Hygienic requirements for the microclimate of industrial premises" and SP 18.08.2019.1327-03 "Hygienic requirements for the organization of technological processes, production equipment and working tools" ( approved by the Chief State Sanitary Doctor of the Russian Federation on May 23, 2003).
By and large, these requirements are not so complicated and difficulties can arise only when building a production workshop. If the premises are rented, it is easier to find one that is already fully equipped in accordance with the above standards.
Regarding the equipment for the production of dried vegetables, we can say that for all, at first glance, the simplicity of production, drying vegetables is a rather complicated process that requires certain specific equipment, which can conditionally be divided into two stages corresponding to the production sites: preparation and drying.
Preparation of vegetables consists actually of washing and slicing them. The vegetables washing machine can also be equipped with a special superstructure for peeling, for example, onions or garlic, and the vegetables slicing machine can be adjusted to this or that type of slicing depending on the loaded raw materials.
Of course, mixed drying, that is, the simultaneous loading of two or more types of vegetables is unacceptable - each of them must be sublimated separately from the others.
The drying (sublimation) section consists of a serial drying chamber and a two-tiered reverse flow furnace (on any fuel preferred in a given region or case - coal, gas, fuel oil, fuel briquettes, etc.), the latter being established outside of production by sanitary standards premises, or rather - on the street, outside the building in general.
The last point must be taken into account during construction or leasing: production also requires a small (about 7.5 square meters in the described case) plot outside the building. The drying unit is connected to the previous section (preparation) by a belt feeder or other conveyor.
Hot air from the furnace to the chamber is supplied using one, more powerful pump, and the cooled moist air from the chamber is removed using a less powerful one. Sometimes, to compensate for heat loss, the line is equipped with a counter-flow plate heat exchanger.
Centrifugation is used to pre-dry (immediately after washing) the vegetables. A centrifuge (in the configuration of the described line - 2 centrifuges), made of food metal, by means of rapid rotation of the inside, dries vegetables from moisture. This allows you to save a little on heat transfer.
The total production area for the described equipment for the production of dried vegetables is not less than 130 square meters. m., of which 7.5 square meters. m are located outside the main room - they have an outside furnace, about 40-45 sq. m. m occupies the training site, and the rest is the sublimation site.
Serving the production of 6 people, regarding whom it should be noted that according to Russian legislation in the field of food enterprises and industries, that they must have sanitary books of a standard form that allow them to work with food products.
The productivity of the line for the production of dried vegetables directly depends on the raw materials used, or rather, on the drying coefficient, but not less than 28-30 tons per day for raw materials.
For example, the drying ratio of garlic is approximately 4-4.5: 1; the drying coefficient of carrots is 15: 1; coefficient of drying of potatoes - 5-6: 1; the drying coefficient of pepper and mushrooms is 10: 1.
The total cost of the production line is 690, 000 yuan, which in terms of rubles at the exchange rate is approximately 3.4 million rubles.
Strategy and prospects for the development of production of dried vegetables
Given the relatively small productivity of the equipment and the low price, the best option would be to simultaneously place several or even several dozen mini-factories, each equipped with one in several cities in the region that produces (grows) vegetables.
The concentration of several lines at one large plant is irrational, since in this case the cost of raw materials increases significantly, which will have to be imported (and in considerable quantities!) By collecting it first throughout the region.
The placement of several medium-sized enterprises, for example, within 3-4 districts or other lower administrative-territorial units will allow not to lose direct communication with suppliers and significantly reduce logistics (transportation) costs.
Regarding additional sources of income, one can name the parallel use of both vegetable and fruit raw materials - the drying machine is, in fact, a universal apparatus and works with any vegetables, fruits, and even berries.
In addition, farmers and other small suppliers can be offered a service such as free-of-charge (subject to the removal of part of the tolling raw materials as processing fees) drying of fruits and vegetables.
In addition to actually some extra income, this will also serve as an advertisement for the products and ultimately lead to an increase in sales.
In addition, as in any vegetable and fruit processing industry, there is an additional opportunity to earn money on the sale of substandard products as feed for farm animals and standard auxiliary industries such as juices, compotes, jams, etc.
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Video about how the dried vegetables production line works