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Application of digital twin in evaluating quality changes in tomato value-chain in Nigeria
Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan www.asabe.org
Citation: 2022 ASABE Annual International Meeting 2200719.(doi:10.13031/aim.202200719)
Authors: Charles Chioma Nwaizu, Taofiq Olayinka Olanrewaju, Christiana Iluno
Keywords: Tomato value chain, fresh tomato. Transportation, Digital twin, Sensors, Simulations, Kinetic model.
Abstract. Cooling tomatoes after harvesting and keeping them refrigerated during their transportation is a key step toward preserving the quality attributes of tomatoes. This is a challenging task to accomplish in Nigeria, mainly because shipments of tomatoes from the tomato-producing states in northern Nigeria to the non-producing states in southern Nigeria were predominately not transported in a refrigerated ambient condition. To minimize postharvest losses of tomatoes during transportation, quantification of changes in quality would be extremely valuable. For this purpose, a digital tomato twin was developed based on mechanistic physics-based modeling. This digital twin simulated the actual thermal profile of tomatoes during transportation, based on sensed ambient environmental conditions. The impacts of the adoption of a low-cost, simple plastic packaging container compared with the traditional container (raffia baskets) on tomato's quality evolution during transportation were analyzed in-silico using the developed digital twin. Generally, the values of colour parameter (a*), firmness (N), and lycopene content (LC, mg/100ml) predicted by the digital twin model for tomatoes transported in raffia baskets were all higher than prediction for plastic container. For example, in shipment #2 the predicted colour parameter (a*) was 46.9 % more than the value predicted for the tomatoes in the plastic container at the end of the transportation. Similarly, lycopene content (LC) increased from 1.14 mg/100ml to 2.58 mg/100ml and 1.80 mg/100ml for raffia baskets and plastic container and firmness (N) decreased by 89% and 58 % in the raffia basket and plastic container respectively.
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