Modeling of Water Absorption by Dried Palm Nut Soaked at Room Temperature
In cracking palm nuts by application of appropriate impact energy, one of the predominant factors that would enhance the release of either high percentage of whole or split kernels is the percentage level of moisture content in the nuts. The split kernels encourage rancidity of oil since the oily surface of the kernel is exposed to environmental influence. There is therefore need to study the absorption of water in dried palm nuts as a pointer to condition dried nuts to moisture content range that would enhance the production of whole kernels. In this study, dried Dura and Tenera palm nuts varieties were obtained from a palm oil processing mill, classified based on their minor diameter into three size ranges of small, medium and large sizes. These nuts were further dried to bone dry mass followed by immersion of each size range of nuts into different vessels containing water. The rate of water absorption was monitored at 3 hourly intervals. The data generated were analyzed. The result showed that the rate of water absorption per nut unit area had similar curves pattern as the drying curve established for palm nuts. Models for water absorption process involving the dried palm nut was developed based on basic underlying principles and data generated from experimental runs. The models were then validated and found to be very useful in describing the water absorption process per nut unit area in a given time and predicting moisture content of bone dry mass of nut soaked in water and kept at room temperature.
palm nut, model, absorption, water, bone dry mass
Orua Antia | Ubong Assian | Olosunde William