Study of structural changes of pumpkin tissue before and after mechanical loading

Shirmohammadi, Maryam & Yarlagadda, Prasad K. (2013) Study of structural changes of pumpkin tissue before and after mechanical loading. Applied Mechanics and Materials, 333-335(2013), pp. 1998-2003.

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Abstract

The texture of agricultural crops changes during harvesting, post harvesting and processing stages due to different loading processes. There are different source of loading that deform agricultural crop tissues and these include impact, compression, and tension. Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) method is a common way of analysing cellular changes of materials before and after these loading operations. This paper examines the structural changes of pumpkin peel and flesh tissues under mechanical loading. Compression and indentation tests were performed on peel and flesh samples. Samples structure were then fixed and dehydrated in order to capture the cellular changes under SEM. The results were compared with the images of normal peel and flesh tissues. The findings suggest that normal flesh tissue had bigger size cells, while the cellular arrangement of peel was smaller. Structural damage was clearly observed in tissue structure after compression and indentation. However, the damages that resulted from the flat end indenter was much more severe than that from the spherical end indenter and compression test. An integrated deformed tissue layer was observed in compressed tissue, while the indentation tests shaped a deformed area under the indenter and left the rest of the tissue unharmed. There was an obvious broken layer of cells on the walls of the hole after the flat end indentations, whereas the spherical indenter created a squashed layer all around the hole. Furthermore, the influence of loading was lower on peel samples in comparison with the flesh samples. The experiments have shown that the rate of damage on tissue under constant rate of loading is highly dependent on the shape of equipment. This fact and observed structural changes after loading underline the significance of deigning post harvesting equipments to reduce the rate of damage on agricultural crop tissues.

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ID Code: 60108
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Postharvesting loss, Compression test, Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM), Indentation test, Cellular structure
ISSN: 1660-9336
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > ENGINEERING (090000) > FOOD SCIENCES (090800) > Food Processing (090805)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Chemistry, Physics & Mechanical Engineering
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2013 Trans Tech Publications Inc.
Deposited On: 20 May 2013 22:40
Last Modified: 17 Jan 2014 21:38

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