From Second Quality Apples to snacks with high nutritional value
This year at the Kyperounda Apple Festival, attendees had the opportunity to try dried apples in the form of chips and tea made from cinnamon, cloves and dried apples. Due to climate change, the region has been particularly affected by the heavy hailstorms that occurred in September this year, which were devastating for apple producers. Every year around 200 tons of second quality apples are produced which are offered at humiliatingly low prices, around 1 euro per box for processing into vinegar, jams etc.
The construction of the prototype solar drying unit can innovatively solve the problem of non-availability of many agricultural products, starting with apples, and contribute to the priorities of the Rural Development Program for Agriculture. The model unit can be an example for other products and areas of Cyprus. The investment made in Kyperounda, a mountainous region, will create new jobs, develop a new environmentally friendly process, create added value to the product, help the residents stay in the countryside, and boost the income of producers, since the price of dried apples on the Cypriot market is around 15-17 euros per kilo.
In this way, value is added to the product, which can be transformed into a new product of high nutritional value for consumers. Especially in the school environment, where with proper training through the program, students will be able to choose a healthy Cypriot snack instead of imported and often dubious quality products, with low content of nutrients and vitamins. This year for the first time at the Apple Festival many producers made and sold dried apples that they created either with solar energy with traditional energy or in home ovens, each product had a different colour, texture, packaging and price, nevertheless their involvement is positive and shows the keen interest in the subject of desiccation.
The Unit is created through the Rural Development Program "Support for the creation and operation of Operational Groups of the European Innovation Partnership for the productivity and sustainability of agriculture”.
Partners: Network of Thematic Centres Troodos, University of Cyprus, New Regional Cooperative Company for the Availability of Agricultural Products (SEDIGEP) Kyperoundas - Troodos Ltd and the Producer George Stylianou