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Removal of the husk(s) from plant material using pressurized fluid

Identification

Key words husk, immature, wheat, grain, glumes, glumellae, legume, pressurized fluid
Latest version 2013/09/05
Completed by INRA - IATE

How does it work?

Primary objective To remove the different types of husk around a plant material consisting of any kind of husked grain/pea, e.g. immature wheat grain. It replaces a classic combine harvester when the water content of the material is too high and this consequently could turn into a paste. (1,2)
Working principle The whole operation is a wet process performed using a specific device which is described below:

The plant material is introduced into a fluid (e.g. air or water); then that fluid loaded with the material is projected (e.g. pressurized water through a nozzle) at a specific angle on at least one rigid plate, the impact of the products mixed with the fluid causing removal of the husk(s) (i.e. glumes and glumellae for wheat) surrounding the vegetable material. The grains are separated from the husk(s) (e.g. in a settling tank, using a cyclone, etc.) The selectivity rate of this technology is high: 985 out of 1000 grains are successfully dehusked. The dehusked material should be decontaminated and/or dryed for a proper preservation. (1,3)

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Images
Additional effects
  • The moisture level of the wheat grains after dehusking remains unchanged.
  • No drying should be necessary.

(1)

Important process parameters pressure of the pressurized fluid (for water, between 50 and 200 bars), angle of projection (should be adjusted between 40 to 50 degrees), capacity (between 300 and 500 kg/h).
Important product parameters maturity stage of the cereal grains (if they are too soft they might be crushed)

The size of the particles (grains) should be from 3 to 10 mm.

What can it be used for?

Products This technology has been proven efficient for immature durum wheat grains.

It is assumed to be efficient but should be tested for effectiveness on other cereal grains (at milk, dough or mature stage, which are the physiological stages of grain maturity) and even other vegetable products such as legumes.

Operations separation
Solutions for short comings
  • Shelling, dehulling, dehusking, debranning, etc.
  • Grains with adhesive husk

What can it NOT be used for?

Products
  • Soft/sticky products
  • Non-husked products
Operations Any other than separation.
Other limitations This technology combines dry and wet processing environments; maybe this does not match with some product constraints: some material might be damaged during the process because of the shock onto the plate.
Risks or hazards Due to the moist environment, the plant material needs to go through an appropriate procedure afterwards to avoid contamination.

Implementation

Maturity Available as an industrial prototype.
Modularity /Implementation This technology should replace at least a part of the production line (some existing devices can be re-used, such as conveyor belt, settling tank, etc).
Consumer aspects No consumer issues expected.
Legal aspects Patent: US2009/0226594 A1
Environmental aspects
  • Water flow: around 4000 litres/hour; the required water quantity is very high but the water waste is totally chemical free; it is consequently necessary and easy to set up a water recycling system
  • Grain flow: 1500 to 2000 kg/hour
  • Electric power: around 200 kW/hour

Further Information

Institutes INRA - IATE
Companies Lapeyre, BSTZ
References Patents:

(1) Abecassis J., Bouniol A., Chaurand M. 2008. Method for obtaining monocotyledon plant grains for human or animal food. US2009/0226594 A1

Publications:

(2) Humeid, M.A., Al-Amary, M. 1986. A study on mechanization of frekeh production in Jordan 2. Study of some nutrients and cooking time of frekeh produced mechanically at different maturity stages of wheat heads. Dirasat : 13 (8), pp. 73-86

(3) Umary, M.A., Humeid, M.A. 1986. A study on mechanization of frekeh production in Jordan 1. Parching and treshing mechanical equipment design. Dirasat : 13 (5), pp. 31-50

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Created by Hte inra on 30 August 2011, at 09:50