Article Number: DRJA97125731592
Vol.5 (5), pp. 42-47, December 2018
Copyright © 2018
Author(s) retain the copyright of this article
Original Research Article
Influence of Field Practices on the Performance of Cucumber Fruits harvesting and processing machines
Effect of pre-harvest treatment on some mechanical properties of cucumber (cv. Nandini) fruits, which will affect its harvesting and processing machines, were investigated in this research. Cucumber plants were treated in the field with five treatments options, until cucumber fruits were harvested for laboratory analysis. The treatment used were; distill water, 100 mg/l CaCl2, 200 mg/l CaCl2, 100 mg/l Ca(NO3)2 and 200 mg/l Ca(NO3)2. The fruits were harvested at 15 Days after Peak Anthesis, and their compression parameters (failure force and failure energy) and shear parameters (shear force and resistance resistance) were tested according to ASTM International procedures. Results obtained revealed that pre-harvest treatment had significant (p ≤0.05) effect on the failure force, failure energy and shear force of the cucumber fruits. All the mechanical parameters evaluated in the study, increased with the pre-harvest treatment. The study further revealed that the fruits treated with Ca(NO3)2, had superior mechanical properties than the fruits treated with CaCl2. The failure force increased by 4.21% and 9.36%, as the fruits were treated with 100 mg/l CaCl2 and 200 mg/l CaCl2 respectively. Likewise, the cucumber failure energy increased by 6.11% and 11.09% at the treatment of 100 mg/l CaCl2 and 200 mg/l CaCl2 respectively. At the concentration of 100 mg/l Ca(NO3)2, the fruits recorded 6.38% and 9.93% increment in their failure force and failure energy respectively. Likewise, at a concentration of 200 mg/l Ca(NO3)2, the fruits failure force and failure energy increased by 12.37% and 17.34% respectively. Regarding the shear parameters, the control fruits recorded the least shear force (126. 64 N) and shear resistance (0.045 N/mm2); while those fruits treated with 200 mg/l Ca(NO3)2 had the highest shear force and shear resistance of 170. 60 N and 0.051 N/mm2 respectively. This study had shown the relevance of the knowledge of field practices, on the design and application of crops harvesting and processing machines. Results obtained from this study will be helpful in the design and optimization of cucumber harvesting and processing machines.
Keywords: Cucumber, compression test, field practices, Nandini, shear test