Longan, a Vietnamese fruit that could go solar

Posted 1 September 2018 by Trân Ngô.

In her previous post, Tran Ngo, our Junior Project Manager, shared about Vietnamese SME’s that could greatly benefit from GoSol solar concentrators. We have already proven that the SOL5 is great for solar baking, roasting nuts and chocolate beans, dry fish and fruits, produce steam for semi-industrial uses, but for very specific and local needs, the SOL5 seems a very good solution as well. Check out what Longan drying requires…

On top of activities that can sound somehow familiar in the West and that I have presented in my previous post, the culture and preparation of Longan is very specific to Vietnam. Longan is native to Southern Asia and it’s a familiar fruit for a tropical country like Vietnam.

This is Longan!

The name “Longan” literally means "dragon eye" because it resembles an eyeball when the fruit is shelled. The fruit is sweet and juicy. The seed and the shells are not consumed. Apart from being eaten raw, Longan fruit is also often used in Asian soups, snacks, desserts, and sweet-and-sour foods, either fresh or dried. Longan is rich in vitamin C, good for boosting your immune system against sicknesses such as colds and flu, it also aids iron absorption and improves skin health.

Preparation of Longan in Con Tau village, Tam Hiep Commune, Binh Dai District, Ben Tre Province.

Because of the hot and humid weather in Vietnam, the Longan tree can bear fruits at any time of the year. It is estimated that there are about 70-80 thousand hectares of Longan planted in Vietnam, that can produce around 600 million tonnes per year, of which southern provinces make for about two thirds of this area.

During my field trip, I had the chance to visit one Longan drying community to understand more about Longan production. Currently, local people are burning charcoal and wood in brick ovens to dry Longan.

Wood is needed in the process.
Drying Longan by burning wood and charcoal.
Charcoal is also made of Longan shells.

Each household production in the village I have visited can dry about 100 kg of Longan per day. They do wish for a better fuel saving and environmentally-friendly solution.

Discussing with a household producing dried Longan.

Check out Tran’s previous post: Can GoSol be useful in South East Asia?


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