DEVELOPMENT OF A MODIFIED PALM-NUT CRACKER

Eyitope Israel Alade, Olufemi Adebola Koya, Babatunde Victor Omidiji

Abstract



This study examined the major shortcomings of conventional crackers, and developed a modified palm-nut cracker with the view of reducing the level of mechanical kernel damage. Equation relating the required speed for cracking operation and force requirement in fracturing the nut was expressed, and the force was experimentally determined before machine development. The machine was designed and fabricated based on standard engineering principles for part-sizing and selection of materials. The machine was tested with dura nuts classified into four groups of sizes and varied during experimentation. The performance evaluation of the machine show that cracking efficiency ranged between 86.10-97.27% at an average value of 4.49% kernel breakage and whole kernels ranging between 94.85-95.97%. Analysis of results using MINITAB 17 show that efficiency of the machine was influenced by nut sizes and variation in the selected feed rates. The result however indicated that the machine is suitable for processing palm nuts of all sizes when operated at moderate feed rates.


Keywords


Palm-nut cracker, nut cracking, feed rate, cracking efficiency, performance evaluation

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