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
Smart Data Transformation – Surfing the Big Wave
02.12.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Informationstechnik FIT
Climate change could outpace EPA Lake Champlain protections
18.11.2016 | University of Vermont
Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.
Topological insulators are currently the hot topic in physics according to the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Only a few weeks ago, their importance was...
In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.
Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...
Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
09.12.2016 | Life Sciences
09.12.2016 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation
09.12.2016 | Health and Medicine