Graduate Research School Available Projects Tropical fruit processing and hygienic design

Tropical fruit processing and hygienic design

Title of Project

Tropical fruit processing and hygienic design


Dr Greg Wheatley, A/Prof Eirin Marie Skjøndal Bar - Norwegian University of science and technology (NTNU)

College or Research Centre

College of Science & Engineering

Summary of Project

Wikipedia includes the following introduction to the Achacha fruit:

“Garcinia humilis, known commonly as achachairú or achacha, is a small, prolifically-fruiting tree related to the mangosteen. It grows in the southern part of the Amazon basin in the central area of Bolivia, but has recently been planted on a commercial scale in Burdekin, Australia. The fruit took third place in the 2012 Fruit Logistica Innovation Awards held in Berlin.[1]

The achacha has an appealing colour and form and is very decorative. It is egg-shaped, up to 6 cm long by 4 cm in diameter. It takes on a reddish-orange shade when mature. There is usually one significant coffee-coloured seed, but larger fruit may have more than one seed.

The taste is described as both bitter and sweet and is somewhat reminiscent of lemonade. The rather tough, bitter rind can be split open with a knife or with the teeth, and the edible part of the fruit sucked off the seed.

The Queensland Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry has found that the fruit keeps well for four to six weeks as long as it stays out of the fridge. It recommends storing the fruit at 15 to 20 degrees Celsius with a high relative humidity. If these conditions are not met, the fruit will shrivel.

The glossy orange rinds of the achacha may be put in a blender with water. Once pureed and then strained to remove all of the solids, this liquid may be diluted and sweetened to one's taste, then chilled for a refreshing summer drink. ”[1]

A local Achacha producing farm[2] has need for a machine to remove the peel from the fruit in a reasonably expeditious manner. The skin should be reasonably coherent as it can be used for product also. The farm already has a machine to remove the fruit from the seed. The project centres on coming up with a hygienic design for an industrial machine for removal of achacha skin and testing of a prototype. Other fruit processing, such as mango, can be included in the project.

Key Words

Tropical fruit; hygienic design; achacha fruit; achacha skin

Would suit an applicant who

has a sound academic background, research experience, an interest in mechanical engineering and strong experimental and computational skills.

Updated: 02 Jun 2021