Evaluation of Potential Use of a Compact Sorter Equipment for Small Vegetables Growers
Carmelo, L.
Miranda, M.
Spricigo, P.
Pilon, L.
Ferreira, M.
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How to Cite

Carmelo L., Miranda M., Spricigo P., Pilon L., Ferreira M., 2015, Evaluation of Potential Use of a Compact Sorter Equipment for Small Vegetables Growers, Chemical Engineering Transactions, 44, 91-96.
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Tomato classification can bring advantages to farmers and consumers. However, classification is usually done in packinghouses of difficult access for small farmers, which in most cases have little access to technology, and need solutions adapted to their conditions. The development of a compact mobile sorting unit can combine the advantages of this process and therefore be used in field conditions, providing fruits with a better classification and giving benefits to the whole production chain. This study aimed to evaluate injury incidence and postharvest quality changes of tomato fruits subjected to cleaning without water and classification in a mobile sorting unit that applies a three way compact brush system – two brushes in down position and one up, comparing them to those of a traditional, static unit. Tomato fruits (cv. Pizzadoro) were harvested at breaker and turning stage and separated into three groups. The first group was subjected to sorting in a traditional, static unit; the second group was submitted in a mobile compact unit; the third group was used as a control. Fruits were stored in a cold room (21±2°C) for 14 days and subjected to the following quality analyzes: mechanical injury incidence, weight loss, pH, soluble solids, firmness, lightness, chroma, hue angle, maturation index and CO2 production. The traditional static unit sorting resulted in the highest total number of injured fruits, about 2.5 times more than the mobile fruit sorting unit. The average quality analyses results obtained over the 14 days of storage indicate no significant difference among treatments for all attributes except firmness and color components (lightness, chroma and hue angle). Based on the found results, there is a great potential for use of the mobile unit by small farmers, with a possibility of bringing benefits to the entire chain.
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