Marketing of ready to eat fresh produce has an increasing share of supermarket shelves around the world. Most products are prepared manually or partially mechanized. Mechanization of fruit peeling and cutting is a known procedure mainly in canned fruits and vegetables production. As an exception, an automatized technology and mechanization for production of fresh produce was developed by the Institute of Agricultural Engineering for extracting pomegranate arils, now it is manufactured and distributed by Juran Ltd (Israel). The present study is designed to develop a technology and machinery for production of fresh cut, ready to eat watermelons and cantaloupes. It aims to mechanically cut, peel and pack the watermelons and cantaloupes. As part of this study we examined several alternatives to perform the whole process, ranging from laser-cut to high-pressure water using artificial vision systems as utilized in sorting processes in the production industry. The study evaluated, analyzed and developed a number of special puncturing tools: fixed, rotating, solid and perforated. As part of these experiments the shelf life of the fruit was tested. It was found that a round, disk shape slice as final fine product is achievable and maintains quality requirements more than a week in cooled and hermetically closed package. The results of these trials have led to the design of the semiautomatic system which requires at this stage a manual feed of the fruit. The main parts of the machinery have been built and tested successfully.
|Title of host publication||Chemical Engineering Transactions|
|Editors||Riccardo Guidetti, Luigi Bodria, Stanley Best|
|Publisher||Italian Association of Chemical Engineering - AIDIC|
|Number of pages||6|
|State||Published - 1 May 2015|