Department of Science and Technology through Tshumisano Trust initiated an Agro-Food Processing, called Limpopo Agro-Food Technology Station in Limpopo Province with the aim of assisting Small medium Enterprises' enterprises in Agro-Food processing. The Technology Station is located at the University of Limpopo . Its strategic partners are Limpopo Department of Agriculture and Local Economic Department and Tourism.
The vision of the station is “ To be a centre of excellence in provision of high quality agro-food processing services in South Africa using cutting edge technologies ”; whereas the mission is “ To provide quality agro-food processing services for Small-Medium-Enterprises in Limpopo Province through modern technologies and partnerships ”. The objectives of the station include:
Considering that the production of good, wholesome food is critical in terms of maintaining public health and that foods nor produced according to Good Manufacturing Practices can make people sick and even result in death, it is essential that companies ensures the safety of these products. In an ideal world all the raw materials would in themselves be wholesome and safe but, since there are always a number of links in the supply and production chain, checks and balances need to be implemented all along the ways.
4.1 Technology services
Limpopo Agro-food Technology Station offers a wide range of scientific and technical services to the SME's, agricultural co-operation and food industries in developing, enhancing and maintaining safe, efficient and cost-effective food production. The station also offers the following technical services: juice processing from raw products, indigenous and exotic fruits drying, beverages from indigenous tea and wide range technical training to SME's. For smaller companies in particular this may be burdensome in terms of cost. This is where LATS can assists since it is focusing on developing entrepreneurial ethos to the SME's.
The service offered by LATS includes starts from farm to ready to eat food. Typical areas of approach include the following:
• Advising on pre and post harvest and immediate post-harvest treatment of raw materials
• Quality control checks and monitoring during production as part of good practice
• Analyses related to shelf-life
• New product development, which include fruit drying with different preservatives concentrations especially S0 2 .
• Traditional herbal teas are still an ongoing research , modification of existing product and production of new variants existing lines
• Auditing and advising preparing for audits by prospective clients
4.2 Product analysis
The station has the capacity to do a full proximate analysis which includes fat, crude fibre, protein, ash, moisture, carbohydrates, and energy. Macro- and micro-elements, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, polyphenols and tannin contents can also be analyzed.