An Automated Cassava Peeling System for the Enhancement of Food Security in Nigeria
Cassava is second only to sweet potato as the most important starchy root crop of the tropical world. In most parts of the tropics, cassava is grown on small plots. However, in some countries, e.g. Mexico, Brazil and Nigeria,
large plantations have been started and interest in mechanization is growing. The degree of mechanization depends on the size of the land and availability of machines for each unit operation involved in cassava processing. However, of all the unit operations involved in cassava processing, cassava peeling remains a serious global challenge to process
engineers. An automated cassava peeling machine was thus developed in the Department of Agricultural Engineering, Federal University of Technology, Akure. The design of the machine was based on the development and modification of the peeling tool of previous cassava peeling machines and the peeling principle is by impact. This machine was
evaluated using newly harvested improved variety of cassava tuber (TMS 30572) grouped into different sizes: 100 . L < 140, 140 . L < 180, 180 . L < 220, 220 . L < 260, and 260 . L < 300. The speed of the machine varies from 100 . 600 rpm while machine operational parameters such as throughput capacity, peeling efficiency, mechanical damage, quality performance efficiency and peel retention were determined for each size. Results revealed that throughput capacity ranged from 76 . 442 kg/h, peeling efficiency ranged from 50 . 75%, mechanical damage ranged from 12 . 44%, quality performance efficiency ranged from 22 . 66%, and peel retention ranged from 7.2 . 33%. These results show appreciable improvement over manual method and existing machines.
Keywords: Performance evaluation, cassava, food, peeling, machine.