Article Number: DRJAFS72120813
Vol. 9, Pp. 167-173, 2021
Copyright © 2021
Author(s) retain the copyright of this article
Original Research Article
Optimization of agricultural machines through the pre-harvest treatment of sweet paper (cv. Goliath) fruits
Food wastage and shortage of workforce are some of the major problems militating against crop production. The purpose of this research was to improve the physical and mechanical properties of sweet pepper (cv. Goliath F1) fruits to optimize harvesting, handling, and processing machines. Goliath sweet pepper plants were pre-harvest treated with CaCl2 and KCl solutions at 100 mg/L and 200 mg/L concentrations, respectively. The treatment was done twice weekly, starting from the fruits’ flowering stage, till when they were harvested at the deep green maturity stage. All the fruits harvested were subjected to physicomechanical tests according to ASTM International procedures. Results obtained from the test revealed that the treatment options affected all the parameters (fruit weight, moisture content, spoilage rate, and firmness) of the fruits, even during the storage period. The study revealed that fruits produced with KCl had better body weight, and experienced lower physiological weight loss, than the fruits produced with CaCl2 and the control. Likewise, the results revealed that the fruits produced with CaCl2had better fruit firmness than the fruits produced with KCl and the control. This study results will be useful to engineers to design and optimize equipment for sweet pepper production.
Sweet pepper, calcium chloride, Goliath F1, optimization, potassium chloride