The new development is part of a research project, Securefish, which aims at improving food security by reducing post harvest losses in the fisheries sector, according to The Times of India.
The EU-funded project got under way in May last year.
The €39,65,592 project involves 13 institutions including four small and medium entrepreneurs. There are four partners each from Europe (the Netherlands, Portugal), Asia (India, Malaysia), Africa (Kenya, Namibia and Ghana) and one from South America (Argentina).
Nazlin Howell from the University of Surrey in the UK is coordinator of the project. Meanwhile, BA Shamasundar, professor and head of the department of fish processing technology, and KM Shankar, dean of College of Fisheries, are investigating from India.
Professor Shamasundar and Mr Shankar, who are in the Netherlands in connection with the project meeting, told TOI that an advantageous quality of the dryer is that at nights, the cheap biomass available in plenty can be utilised.
"The biomass dryer can be used even on rainy days. The special feature of this design is the use of poly carbonate sheets for collector instead of glass sheets," Professor Shamasundar said.
Regarding the specific objectives of Securefish, the investigators said, "The project will undertake comprehensive and significantly useful post harvest research to help reduce post harvest losses in the fisheries sector to improve food security, particularly in low income (Kenya, Namibia, Ghana) and medium-income (India, Malaysia, Argentina) countries."
The technologies include improved solar tunnel drying, solar assisted low-value food extrusion and fast freezing, and continuous atmospheric freeze drying (CAFD) to reduce post-harvest losses in conventional fish supplies (marine, aquaculture and freshwater) and to reduce adverse environmental impact.
The project also aims at implementing improved technology, value-added products and a total quality management tool in real-life third world country conditions in Africa, Asia and Latin America, using three fish product chains that can be produced by SMEs sustainably after the life of the project.
The project will involve relevant food chain actors, setting real improvement targets and achievements that will be benchmarked against existing processes, creating a legacy of best practices for future wider implementation.