Fufu made simple

Sirris helped the company Fufu Cooker to design a food mixer suitable for preparing an African dish called fufu, and manufactured a functional prototype.

Fufu is a staple food common to many Sub-Saharan African populations. It is prepared with a mix of manioc, corn, yam, plantain bananas, etc.
There are several ways to prepare fufu; here are the two most widely used:

  1. The starchy ingredients are boiled and crushed at length in a mortar or a pan, warm water is added, then the mixture is kneaded according to a specific method.
  2. Flour is added to warm water and the mixture is kneaded until the desired paste is obtained.

The latter is a method requiring hard and painstaking work that could be produced by a machine. Hence the Fufu Cooker project.

To date, no electrical appliance has successfully combined the precision of this recipe with the degree of flour fineness and to the taste of the consumer. The only machine, called FufuMagic, is exclusively available in the United States. However, the tedious nature of its preparation on the one hand, along with increasing demand from Africa's middle classes, has rendered the marketing of such a machine an interesting prospect.

Fufu Cooker was created to develop and commercialise a machine capable of facilitating the preparation of fufu, in perfect abidance with its traditions.
The company called upon Sirris to design and produce its prototype.
The machine must be capable of boiling water, distributing manioc, corn or another type of flour at the right time and mixing it all with brief pauses following a programmed sequence.

After studying the patents applied to the existing American machine, Sirris defined comprehensive specifications including, in particular:

  • References of a basic appliance chosen in a store, from a selection of bread machines, sauce machines, mixers, etc. to reduce development costs
  • Definition of the beaters and motorised mixer
  • Definition of the pouring flour feeder
  • Adaptation of the cover to include the feeder
  • Choice of a mixing bowl
  • Definition of a heating zone to bring water to the boil
  • Dedicated zone for a tailor-made PCB
  • Placement of safety devices and grids

Sirris also chose the manufacturing processes and materials required for the design or redesign of components.

Based on the technical definitions for the various components, prototypes of specific elements were, on a case by case basis, produced using Additive Manufacturing within Sirris' premises or subcontracted to a mechanical workshop.

In order to use the Fufu Cooker, a few basic controls required to be integrated for the machines different settings and for programming a few recipes. Several mechanisms were necessary, such as a control for working the beater in the two rotational directions or a control for the heating plate via a potentiometer linked to a temperature probe.

All the elements are now in place to offer fufu lovers a practical solution for its trouble free preparation.

You can view this prototype in action in a video on the website www.fufu-cooker.com.

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