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Journal of Emerging Trends in Engineering and Applied Sciences (JETEAS)

ISSN:2141-7016

Article Title: Performance Evaluation of a Modified Onion Storage Structure
by Falayi F.R. and Yusuf H.A

Abstract:
The rate of deterioration of onion in the tropical humid environment due to inadequate storage structure cannot be overemphasized. The storage life of onion is dependent mainly on temperature and humidity. Onion is grown in the northern states mostly by peasant farmers and transported to the various regions in the country. To ensure supply of the commodity all year round, adequate storage facilities must be put in place. The objective of this study is to evaluate a modified onion storage structure in terms of its potentials to reduce ambient temperature and relative humidity which would help extend the shelf life of onion and reducing post-harvest losses. A storage structure capable of storing onions in a humid tropical environment was re-designed and constructed using locally available materials and tested for nine-weeks. The structure was constructed with 50.8 mm x 50.8 mm and 50.8 mm x 76.2 mm soft wood, naturally ventilated and was covered with asbestos roofing sheets and chicken mesh. The storage structure is 2000 mm x 1800 mm x 1900 mm for length, breadth and height respectively and is divided into three compartments (A, B and C). The parameters measured included temperature, relative humidity and weight of the onions and the results were subjected to appropriate statistical analysis. Temperatures within and outside the structure ranged from 25.1 oC to 31.6 oC in the morning period, 29.0 oC to 41.7 oC in the afternoon period and 24.0 oC to 31.4 oC in the evening period. Physical examination performed on the stored onions bulbs after nine weeks revealed minimal deterioration, with onions stored at compartment C recording the lowest percentage of weight loss of 5.91% while compartment B had a 6.80% weight loss and compartment A recorded a 6.69% weight loss. Relative humidity within and outside the structure ranged from 74% to 96% in the morning, 54% to 95% in the afternoon and 70% to 96% in the evening. The highest relative humidity value (96%) was recorded in the morning period and the lowest (54%) was recorded in the afternoon. The test of correlation analysis performed on the results indicated large significant difference between the internal and external temperature and relative humidity readings. It then can be concluded that the structure has performed well by reducing ambient temperature and relative humidity thereby prolonging the shelf life of the product.
Keywords: onion, deterioration, relative humidity, temperature, moisture content
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ISSN: 2141-7016

Editor in Chief.

Prof. Gui Yun Tian
Professor of Sensor Technologies
School of Electrical, Electronic and Computer Engineering
University of Newcastle
United Kingdom

 

 

Copyright © Journal of Emerging Trends in Engineering and Applied Sciences 2010