The full system includes four components: the PedalPro system which performs the grinding function for soybeans and other foods, as well as pedal-operated battery charging and water pumping; a pressurized stainless steel steam boiler; a stainless steel pressure-cooking vessel and a stainless steel filter press. The use of steam-injected pressure-cooking is up to 10 times more energy-efficient than traditional open stove cooking. Some foods can also be prepared using only the pedal-operated grinder/blender, and do not require the boiler and pressure-cooker. A standalone electric grinder is also an available component for the VitaGoat system. The electric grinder can be ordered at the same time as the system or purchased at a later date.
The VitaGoat processing capability features economical, high-protein and healthy soya foods, in the form of soymilk and its derivatives such as tofu and yogurt. Other cooked and processed foods such as soups, sauces and purees, can be made from various fruits and vegetables. An extra food-preserving vessel is in development to allow for long shelf-life. The cycle-grinder alone can process peanut butter, soy and other nut butters, and grind cereals and grains into meals and some flours.
The major investment cost of setting up a VitaGoat system is the cost of the equipment itself, along with a suitable production space. There are no costs associated with installing or consuming electricity or running water. The water source for the system can be as simple as a bucket. It is clearly expected that the investment will pay for itself within a year, assuming 3-4 hours of daily production. The VitaGoat can be used in a number of settings, such as: direct feeding in humanitarian projects, in social institutions (hospitals, schools, etc) and, perhaps most importantly, as the principal vehicle for a food production micro-enterprise which could employ 5 to 10 people. This could be like a “restaurant”, food processing “mini-plant”, retail outlet, or any combination of these.
The VitaGoat can allow a group to help meet its nutritional needs and generate income at the same time. Because the foods can be processed much faster than with traditional methods (mortar and pestle or hand grinding), value-added foods can be prepared fast and in greater volumes, freeing up time for women and girls and apply it to other activities, including education, care for others and other income-generating activities. In addition, much less work and energy is expended in preparing the foods, thus potentially reducing the caloric needs of the women and girls and freeing them from high-energy and often exhausting work.