PAPER TITLE :DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION OF HYDROCOOLING CHAMBER FOR FRUITS AND VEGETABLES STORAGE

APPLIED TROPICAL AGRICULTURE | VOLUME 25 NUMBER 2 2020

Paper Details

  • Author(s) : Oluwalana, I. B., Olumurewa, J. A. V., Alao, A. I., Olufolaji, D. B., Amos, T. T., Oluwamukomi, M. O., Badejo, A. A. and Adeoye, B. K
  • Abstract:

Fruits and vegetables harvested at either physiological or commercial stages have very short shelf life as the fruits usually ripen within a week while the vegetables shrivel few hours after harvest, if they are not appropriately stored. Reports have shown up to 70% losses for both commodities under natural tropical conditions (30 plus or minus 2°C and 70 plus or minus 2% RH) when not well handled and stored. Unfortunately, tropical fruits and vegetables are adversely affected by cold o temperatures below 12 C as they are prone to chilling injury, hence limiting the use of refrigeration in storing the fruits fresh. Moreover, most of the storage methods available in the developed temperate countries such as Controlled Atmosphere Storage, Hypobaric, Irradiation etc. are either too expensive or technically sophisticated to be adopted for tropical fruits and vegetables. This study was therefore conceived and undertaken to develop a novel Dome-like Hydro-cooling Chamber kitted with Solar Energy powered Water-Cooling System, to maintain the o temperature and humidity of stored fruits and vegetables at about 15 C and 85% RH respectively. Utilization of solar energy is due to irregularities and high costs of electricity in the developing nations including Nigeria.Preliminary results have shown that the dome-shaped structure with a cuboidal base of 7m x 4m x 2.5m and a dome top central height of 1.5m constructed with a non-hollow cement blocks of average weight of 23kg with o dimensions of 0.46m x 0.23m x 0.15m and kitted with a solar energy powered water cooling system at about 10 C o can achieve the storage conditions of about 15 C and 85% RH holding up to 28 metric tonnes of plantain fruits. Keywords: Hydro-cooling chamber, Water Cooling System, Solar Energy, Storage, Fruits and Vegetables