We prepare and sell a food product called ‘mucua juice’ which is made from the fruit of the baobab tree, commonly known as ‘imbondeiro’ here. (Its scientific name is Adansonia digitata). This fruit is rich in vitamins and minerals. To prepare the juice you will need two large metal containers, two buckets and a sieve.

  • Collect 10kg of mucua fruit and peel it.
  • Boil 20–25 litres of water and mix in the peeled mucua. Mix well until only seeds can be seen.
  • Separate the juice from the seeds using a fine sieve.
  • Add 3kg of sugar and stir well.

For packaging, we buy thin sheets of transparent plastic which we fold in the middle and then melt together at the sides to form a bag. Each bag holds 55cc. The work of packaging is very tiring – we need to light two paraffin-fired lanterns every day and the fumes are very unpleasant. It takes four hours to make 300 bags, which we then fill with the cooled juice.

Each day we take 300 bags of juice to be frozen. A day later, when well frozen, they are placed in a cold box and sold in the market. This frozen mucua juice can be found in markets all over Angola and people like to drink it at the hottest time of the day. Once unfrozen, it does not keep more than 24 hours and the taste changes as it does not contain any preservatives. Through Passo a Passo we learned to use potassium metabisulphite as a preservative. However, this is very rare in our pharmacies.

Soares L Kalenda, s/c Moreira Sevani Paulo, C Postal No 2614, Luanda, Angola.