Fruits are essential food items as they play a vital role in the diet of humans. Fresh fruits are highly perishable and bulky commodities because they contain high moisture. Hence, their transportation to distant places is costly and their condition on arrival in the importing country may be less than satisfactory. Postharvest loss of fruits in Ethiopia is very high. This could be due to their perishable nature, poor postharvest handling and lack of cheap and appropriate postharvest technology. Hence, much effort is needed in the area of generating efficient, low-cost, indigenous technology that minimizes postharvest loss of fruits. One of these methods is to produce local value-added products through the development of micro- and small-scale agro-industries. Solar drying of fruits is one of such agro-industries that can enhance the shelf life of fruits. Therefore, the main objective of this paper is to review the potentials and possible methods and procedures of solar drying of fruits in Ethiopia with major emphasis on methods of drying and types of solar dryers; nutritive value of dried fruits, influence of drying on quality and utilization methods of dried products; basic procedures for solar drying, and problems and opportunities in the country to begin fruit solar drying as a business. This review demonstrated that Ethiopia has favourable conditions such as increased fruit production, favourable weather for solar drying, cheap labour, strong market linkage, air transport and favourable policy. These conditions favour the establishment of solar drying as a business in the country. Therefore, Ethiopia has to use these windows of opportunities to reduce postharvest loss of fruits and achieve the multiple benefits that can be obtained from solar drying through introduction and adoption of fruit solar drying technologies from abroad and developing appropriate technologies within the country.
Key words: Ethiopia, fruits, solar dryers, solar drying.
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