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Rural Express: Oil-maker turns trash into treasure

Published:Saturday | December 27, 2014 | 12:00 AM
No part of the coconut is wasted at Temple Foods, located at Harthill, Portland.
Ayanda Lecky of Epsom, St Mary, hard at work operating the machine that presses the oil from castor beans during a visit to Temple Foods, located at Harthill, Portland.-PHOTOS BY PAUL WILLIAMS
Oil makera Noel Terrier of Temple Foods, located at Harthill, Portland, turns 'trash' into 'treasure'.

Paul H. Williams, Gleaner Writer

HARTHILL, Portland:In 2007, at the height of the worldwide recession, food technologist/processor Noel Terrier of Hart Hill, Portland, realised that he was spending too much on motor vehicle fuel to deliver the foods that he had been processing since the 1990s.

So he went back to the drawing board to see if there were possible alternatives to imported fuels and foods. "So I thought if I could, in my own corner of the woods, in a rural setting, utilise resources that are readily available ... , then I could teach the Government ... the country," he told Rural Xpress recently at his family-owned operations.

Terrier said some government officials of the day were "quite excited" and "intrigued" with the idea of using fuel made from local natural resources. The Adventist elder, who said he is a self-taught person, an avid reader and "experimenter", went about researching and experimenting, and as a result of the success of his experiments, he decided to put his personal assets on the line.

Terrier was going to make oil from natural resources.

Production, he said, started in 2007, and now, "these oils have almost completely replaced the imported ones that we used to process health food". Under the philosophy of making treasures from trash, Terrier has since been making oil and other products from what some would regard as waste, some of which comes from his own food-processing operations, marketed under the No-Loss Foods brand, and trading as Temple Food.

For years, he has been producing and marketing a wide variety of health foods based on cereal grains and bananas, "which are processed in such a way as to preserve its nutritional and therapeutic properties". The bananas are processed as raw material for cake mixes, marketed by Jamaica Flour Mills.

The brand is all about "natural food without the loss of natural goodness", Terrier said. "We want to ensure that as much of the natural nutrients remain in the food; but in addition to that, even what is considered waste should be recycled." So, from the No-Loss concept has arisen from that of Treasures from Trash. "What we really want to demonstrate here is how you can utilise very simple technology and resources and make complex items, a myriad of items," Terrier said.

Through Treasure for Trash, Terrier has been making oils from coconuts, castor beans, cotton seeds, peanuts, and soy beans. Biodiesel fuels are even made from tyres and plastic. He also converts 'waste' matter, seed oils and 'waste' oils into three usable forms of renewable energy: flammable gases, charcoal and flammable liquids that can be substituted for petroleum diesel fuels.

"In a bid to reduce our dependence on imported raw materials and energy, and to develop our indigenous potentials, No-Loss Foods has, over a three-year span, concentrated its efforts on initiating a project for the processing of locally available oil seeds to yield foods and renewable energy. This integrated approach is called zero-waste processing, where the generation of its own waste is recycled into value-added products," Terrier said.

Terrier also said the idea is about utilising local natural resources to provide employment for youths who face social challenges. "The Treasures from Trash concept is demonstrated in its labour pool as well. The enterprise employs primarily unskilled and at-risk young men, trains them to develop strong work ethics and to understand and appreciate applied science. Every area of expertise needed to fulfil the varied needs of this project has been supplied from this pool of raw talent," Terrier said.