DEVELOPMENT OF CONTINUOUS FEED EQUIPMENT FOR ALOEVERA WHOLE GEL EXTRACTION
Continuous feed aloevera whole gel extraction equipment comprises of six major components, (a) Outer frame to hold functional components (b) Conveyor belt (c) Drive mechanism for gel extraction system (d) Whole gel extraction mechanism (e) Collection trays for extracted gel and rinds (f) Motor. Leaf base and sharp spines of matured aloevera leaves are removed before feeding into equipment. Combination action of sliding bearing (4 nos) mechanism and pressure springs (4 nos) helps to adjust gap between pressure roller assembly and flatten curvature of aloevera leaves. Two high carbon steel blades one each, just above bottom set of rollers and just below top set of rollers, simultaneous peels off both top and bottom rind in a single pass. To obtain whole gel recovery of more than 98.13 ± 0.52 % and residual gel percentage of below1.87 ±0.27%, speed of the rollers was optimized at 100 rpm for three levels of leaves thickness (<25 mm, 25–30 mm and >30 mm). Capacity of equipment is 215.00 ±9.08 kg/h. Percentage saving in cost and time of operation was 55.56 and 70 %, respectively. Quality parameters of whole aloevera gel were on par with preferred hand filleting method of gel extraction. Equipment is suitable to be adopted as a rural technology specially in the aloevera catchment area.
Aloevera; Continuous feed; Gel extraction efficiency; Hand filleting; Quality parameters
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