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Quafety scientists design a machinery for mechanical peeling and cutting of fresh-cut melons

A research group led by Victor Rodov at the Agricultural Research Organization of Israel – The Volcani Centre, has concluded the deliverable N. 4.25 regarding the development of an automatic prototype for fresh-cut melon processing.

The general aim of the work is improving efficacy and safety of fresh-cut melon and watermelon processing by substituting manual peeling and cutting operations by an automatic hands-off machine. The present study is designed to develop technology and machinery able to mechanically cut and peel melons and watermelons in order to prepare fresh-cut fruits.

Rodov says: "As part of this study we have 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. We have evaluated, analysed and developed a number of special puncturing tools: fixed, rotating, solid and perforated".

The efficacy of the technology was evaluated measuring the quality parameters of fresh-cut fruits during shelf-life. It was found that a round, disk shaped slice as a final product is achievable and maintains quality requirements for more than a week in a cooled and sealed plastic package.

The results of these trials have led to the design of the system performing peeling/cutting operations without a human hand touching the cut fruit. Rodov concludes: "At this stage the machine requires a manual feed of the raw fruit. The main parts of the machinery have been built and tested successfully".

For further info: Dr Victor Rodov, vrodov@agri.gov.il

Publication date: 2/3/2015
Author: Emanuela Fontana
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


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