Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Scientists have invented a machine that sorts pomegranate seeds

21.11.2008
A team of investigators from Valencia has developed a machine that separates automatically the seeds from the rind and pith of the pomegranate. The mechanism uses a computer vision system to distinguish and sort the different parts of this fruit, according to a study published on-line by the Journal of Food Engineering.

The difficulty in peeling pomegranates and separating out the seeds disheartens many consumers when they eat the fruit of the pomegranate (Punica granatum). Now a Spanish invention enables this food to be de-seeded automatically.

“This involves a machine that discards the non edible parts and sorts the seeds according to their quality”, José Blasco explains to SINC and who is from the Institute of Agrarian Research in Valencia (Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Agrarias [IVIA]), where they have carried out research. The results of the research have been published recently in the Journal of Food Engineering, and the patent has already been requested.

The initial idea for creating this machine came from a project financed by the European Union for the comprehensive utilization of the pomegranate. A firm from Valencia became involved in the project and uses the machine to separate the seeds from the pomegranate and commercialises them.

The seeds arrive at the machine in a pile and mixed with the rest of the fruit, following a prior process of wholesale de-seeding. The material is placed on a conveyor platform with hoppers that organises it into a queue before going on to the “inspection chamber” where two videocameras record each object going through. Images are processed in a computer with vision software especially designed for this task that identifies what is seed from what is not (pith, rind, strange items from the countryside), in addition to evaluating the quality of the seeds.

This information enables the fruit to be put to one side in the “separation area”, which has four exits. When the system detects that an active skin is passing through, a “blast” is emitted from air projectors thus pushing it towards the first exit. By means of these “blasts” (which last about 30 milliseconds) the rest of the material is separated gradually. The seeds that do not fulfil the quality requirements demanded by the firm are eliminated through the second exit, prime quality seeds go through the third exit, and those of excellent quality go through the fourth exit.

Anti-carcinogenic properties of pomegranates

Nearly 35,000 tons of pomegranates are produced in Spain each year, and the harvesting period is concentrated between the months of October and January. Until now a lot of the fruits were not commercialised because of their cracked and discoloured appearance due to “too much sun”, although in both cases the nutritive and organoleptic quality of the seeds was not affected. With the new machine these pomegranates will be used to full advantage.

The nutritional and anti-carcinogenic properties of the pomegranate fruits have been highlighted in various studies. Moreover this tree does not need fertilizers, phytosanitary products, or large quantities of water, and so adapts well to arid soils.

SINC Team | alfa
Further information:
http://www.plataformasinc.es

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht New study from the University of Halle: How climate change alters plant growth
12.01.2018 | Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg

nachricht Disarray in the brain
18.12.2017 | Universität zu Lübeck

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Artificial agent designs quantum experiments

On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.

We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...

Im Focus: Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes

So-called pre-distorted states accelerate photochemical reactions too

What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...

Im Focus: The first precise measurement of a single molecule's effective charge

For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.

Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...

Im Focus: Paradigm shift in Paris: Encouraging an holistic view of laser machining

At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.

No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...

Im Focus: Room-temperature multiferroic thin films and their properties

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.

Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

10th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Münster, 10-11 April 2018

08.01.2018 | Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Let the good tubes roll

19.01.2018 | Materials Sciences

How cancer metastasis happens: Researchers reveal a key mechanism

19.01.2018 | Health and Medicine

Meteoritic stardust unlocks timing of supernova dust formation

19.01.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>