By MURIMI GITARI
Do you know that a bad or rotten avocado can be useful? A farmer in Tharaka Nithi county is using the rotten avocados to make glycerine and biodiesel products without using any machines or electricity.
Speaking to HortiNews at his farm on July 9, Mr Mutegi Kanini, who hails from Chogoria in Maara Sub County, discovered there are various products that can be made from avocados in the year 2010 after disposing bad avocados under sunlight and realizing they were melting after some time.
“I have very many avocado trees in my farm and when I saw the bad avocados melting I deliberately decided to try and make oil by ripening the good ones and then start extracting the oil,” Mr. Mutegi who is well known a Classmate says.
Classmate says that there are myriad products that can be made from all parts of the avocados without even having to throw the bad ones away. He uses kitchen equipments to make ten consumable, non-consumable and by-products from ripe avocados.
He started by extracting oil from the avocados that he used for domestic purposes like cooking chips and doughnuts that he would later sell locally.
He also adds that the avocado oil will always remain the same even at very low temperatures without solidifying unlike the cooking oil we buy from the shops.
Avocado oil extraction
He cuts peels ripe avocado oils, cuts them into two pieces and removes the seed and puts them in a clean bowl where he starts smashing them to become a paste or a moist pulp. The pulp is then transferred into a melamine or plastic tray where it is spread using a tablespoon into a thickness of between 5-6 millimeters for faster changes that takes about 2 hours.
The trays containing the pulp are then placed under the sun where the avocado paste start turning brownish after the two hours lapse with the oil forming on the surface of the trays.
“ After the colour of the pulp starts changing, start stirring using a spoon until it is thoroughly mixed and spread it again on the trays to get all the pulp change to brownish,” Classmate explains. The process is repeated two to three times after every two hours until there are no yellowish avocados seen on the trays and by then the pulp will have turned granular in form and soaked into oil.
The next step is shifting the trays on another able while the pulp is still warm from the sunlight and putting it on a clean dry piece of cloth where it is squeezed using bare hands into a clean container letting the oil trickle through a sieve into a clean container.
“I transfer the oil into clean bottles and leave them standing for 72 hours for any avocados particles to form at the base of the bottles where after this period I transfer the oil to other bottles where the oil can now be ready for use,” he adds.
Classmate says that one has to be very careful so as not to over expose the avocado paste under the sun to avoid it being dry as it won’t produce any oil. The squeezing of the granular particles has also o happen when they are warm and not cold for them to extract the oil.
When cooking, cooking oil reaches a point where it starts turning into vapor which is not safe and Mutegi says avocado oil will never change as it has a smoke point being an advantage when it comes to deep frying as it is low temperature oil.
Other than cooking, the avocado oil can be applied to human body and still can be put in food directly as well as applying in bread.
“I want to see avocados being of value to all people through value addition to a point where farmers will no longer be selling this fruit while raw,” he tells me.
He is using the bad avocado pulp to make lubricating grease that is applied on joint of machines and also fuel oil specified for improvised stoves.