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
Diagnoses: When Are Several Opinions Better Than One?
19.07.2016 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung
High in calories and low in nutrients when adolescents share pictures of food online
07.04.2016 | University of Gothenburg
Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.
"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...
In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.
A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...
By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.
"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...
COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.
In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...
'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.
Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...
14.10.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
12.10.2016 | Event News
21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine
21.10.2016 | Information Technology
21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences