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Design and experimental research of shelling and sorting machine for fresh Camellia oleifera fruit based on physical properties

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  2018 ASABE Annual International Meeting  1800815.(doi:10.13031/aim.201800815)
Authors:   Hongzhe Jiang, Bo Wang, Xuan Chu, Xin Zhao
Keywords:   Camellia oleifera fruit, Seed, Shell, Shelling and sorting, Vibrating screen.

Abstract. Camellia oil, extracted from the seed in camellia oleifera fruit, is highly preferred by Chinese consumers as specific woody oil resource. However, the preprocessing of shelling and sorting operation still depends on natural drying to be separated manually which is time-consuming and high-cost. In this study, shelling and sorting machine for fresh camellia oleifera fruit was designed based on the principle of slicing and extruding, combined with a triple-layer vibrating screen for shells and seeds separation. Firstly, the parameters of fruits collected from Ganzhou City were measured and the fruit size ranged from 20.2 to 45.8 mm while mean sphericity was 0.9519. Based on that measured data for machine design, the fruit was shelled in the mutually co-operative action of rotating slice and fixed grid frames, and the shelling rate achieved 98.1%. Physical properties investigation also showed that seed size ranged from 13.0 to 29.6 mm for major diameter while 8.4 to 19.2 mm for minor diameter. Further experiments revealed the optimal combination of circular shapes in first and second-layer screen were 22 mm and 18 mm diameters, respectively. The total separating rates were 88.7%, 57.8% and 78.9% in the three screen layers. Overall, this research results provided a reference for the design of camellia oleifera fruit shelling and sorting. The shelling operation could meet the industry requirement. However, further steps are still needed to improve the cleaning rate in sorting.

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