DESIGN, FABRICATION AND PERFORMANCE EVALUATION OF A TOMATO (SOLANUM LYCOPERSICUM) COMPACTING MACHINE
Publication Date : 04/02/2020
A manually operated tomato fruit compactor was designed and fabricated capable of compacting 3600 g of tomato fruit in ten minutes into sizable cubes for easy drying, storage and accessibility. Due to the current practices of preserving fresh tomatoes and the increasing demand for dry tomato at homes and industries, there is a need to develop a machine capable of compacting and drying the tomatoes fruits to increase the quantity that can be stored, packaged and transported. The compacting of tomatoes fruit is done by the densification of the fresh tomatoes fruits by the removal of its fluid to reducing the volume the product occupies when fresh .The machine presses the tomato and rids it of any fluid and then compacts it into cubes to be dried. The design of the compactor ensures that the machine requires only one operator and is very time efficient and hygienic. The tomato fruit is compacted by the application of force exerted from the rotational movement of a screw handle, these force is then converted into the downward movement of the presser which in-turn compacts the tomatoes into the partitioner. The screw handle is turn reversely to offload the compacted tomatoes in the partition. After the comparting of the tomato fruits, the partitioner can then be removed and the compacted tomato fruits transferred into crates to be dried and stored. The machine has a time saving efficiency which is 80 percent greater than the slicing and thumb compacting method alternative. The general efficiency of the machine is 51 percentage greater when compared to the traditional method of slicing and thumb compacting.
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