Mechanization of Post-Harvest Pecan Processing
The mechanization of pecan processing, including harvesting, cracking and shelling, is a relatively recent advancement when compared to other mechanized food processing systems. The equipment for sizing, separating, cracking, drying and packaging of pecans has only been developed since the early 1920s (Woodroof and Heaton 1961). An overview of pecan harvesting is presented in Chapter 2. Chapter 4 provides the pecan processor with the requirements necessary to maintain product quality throughout the entire processing, handling and storage of pecans. In this chapter, post-harvest pecan processing equipment will be discussed. Post-harvest pecan processing, or “shelling” as it is called in the pecan industry, encompasses the following operations; secondary cleaning, in-shell size sorting, conditioning of the nuts, cracking, shelling, separating the meat from the shell, sorting of the meats based on size, dryness, and color of the meats, packaging and storage. Each of these operations will be described below in terms of the more common equipment used to accomplish each step in post-harvest pecan processing.
KeywordsBelt Conveyor Final Moisture Content Room Temperature Storage Pecan Processing Pecan Orchard
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