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- KurzbeschreibungAgriculture accounts for most of the land use in Southeast Asia&8217;s mountainous regions, and here farming is mostly undertaken by smallholders, within fragile ecosystems in which it is difficult to carry out sustainable agricultural production. Thailand&8217;s mountainous regions are mostly located in the north of the country, where litchi (Litchi chinensis Sonn.) production is significant and constitutes an important part of the region&8217;s economy. After 1960, Thailand experienced rapid economic growth, but the mountainous regions remained largely isolated from this process at the time, as they were populated largely by ethnic minority groups who practiced swidden agriculture and grew opium poppies in fields located at higher altitudes. Then, during the 1970s and 1980s, many rural development projects were introduced in order to replace poppy cultivation, and the most common crop used to do this was litchi. As a consequence, by the early 1990s, litchis had become one of the area&8217;s key crops and had made Thailand one of the world&8217;s major producers. However, in the late 1990s, the domestic market for the fruit reached saturation, and as a result prices started to decline. This fall in prices led to the replacement of litchi orchards with seasonal crops, the cultivation of which led to an increase in erosion, plus pesticide and water use.<br>In an attempt to make litchi growing profitable again, scientists from The Uplands Program, a Thai-Vietnamese-German interdisciplinary research project, set up a project aimed at promoting litchi drying among farmers&8217; cooperatives, as a way to cope with the saturated fresh-litchi market. Village-based litchi drying requires low-cost and easy-to-use equipment, but at that time there was a lack of such dryers on the market that is both, energy efficient and able to yield a high-quality product. In this context, the objective of the present study was to develop a low-cost energy-saving dryer, able to produce high-quality dried fruit. The project was performed with participation of a Chiang Mai based dryer manufacturer and a Hmong farmers&8217; cooperative.<br>Dried litchis are popular in Asia, but Thai consumer preferences in terms of appearance, texture and taste had not been determined prior to this research. Six different dried litchi products were submitted to analysis of colour, texture, acidity and sugar content and evaluated by consumers in a survey. The results were then integrated using circular ideal-point regression analysis. Response surface methodology was used to determine the optimum colour, sugar/acidity ratio and hardness. It was found that Thai consumers prefer a goldenyellow dried litchi with a soft texture and a sweet taste
- AutorMarcelo Figueira de Mello Precoppe
- VerlagShaker Media Verlag
- Seiten118 Seiten
- Gewicht171 g
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