Drying flowers above 2000 ft altitude

Award Information
Agency: Department of Agriculture
Branch: N/A
Contract: 2007-33610-18090
Agency Tracking Number: 2007-00445
Amount: $25,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2007
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
James L. Ruhlman
Post Office Box 2224, Guayama, PR, 00785
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 James Ruhlman
 (787) 839-4007
Business Contact
 James Ruhlman
Phone: (787) 866-1318
Email: casitadriana@yahoo.com
Research Institution
"The purpose of the project is to establish means and methods for a low cost drying process of cut flowers employable at-site of small scale floral farms in Puerto Rico. The flowering plant growers of Puerto Rico have become a robust industry located along the central ridge of mountains extending the entire length of the island. Flower commercialization is practiced within the range of 2000 ft altitude range and up. Cooler temperatures and a higher relative humidity create an ideal setting for the flower industry. Many flowering plants are seasonal in nature. Production surplus during peak season is typically lost. Salable production can be further reduced by not finding a market for healthy but visually defective flowers (rejects). A low cost value-added alternative is desired to process such surplus and make it available to consumers or wholesalers. Development of such a method can extend the crop-based income of floral farmers to beyond the off-season. By drying the otherwise nonsalable produce the farmer can expect to convert them into a product with an extended shelf life of 6 months to a year. The project seeks to prove that our system of successfully drying cultivated fruits at sea level conditions can be adapted and/or manipulated to perform in the higher altitudes containing thinner air and denser moisture levels. Tropical fruits normally propagate and prosper at a commercial level below 2000 ft. altitude."

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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