Global Journal of Engineering Research

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Effects Of The Physical Dimensions On Forces To Break Melon Seeds And Cotyledons

FB Okokon, M Udoh, VW Obot


The mechanical shelling of melon seeds in experimental impeller-type machines resulted in high percentages of broken seeds and cotyledons. It is difficult to predict the orientations of the seeds during impact with the cylindrical ring. The physical dimensions of melon seeds were measured and compressed between parallel plates in a rig to determine the forces when broken. The average forces found to break the seeds were 12.54, 18.92 and 19.58 x 10-3N when the seeds were loaded breadthwise, lengthwise with tip up and lengthwise with tip down respectively. The average forces found to break the cotyledons were 8.58, 13.26 and 10.26 x 10-3N respectively.
The statistical analyses showed that the length, width and thickness of the seeds and cotyledons had significant linear effects on the forces. The seeds and cotyledons loaded or impacting the ring lengthwise were found to be more likely to break compared to the breadthwise orientation. These findings show that melon seeds that are loaded or impacted the ring breadthwise are less likely to be broken, reducing the percentage of broken seeds and cotyledons during the shelling process.

Keywords: Break force, melon seeds, cotyledon

Global Journal of Engineering Research Vol. 7 (1) 2008: pp. 7-13
AJOL African Journals Online