Print version ISSN 0100-6916
FERREIRA, Marcos D.; BENICIO, Rafael P. and UMEZU, Cláudio K.. Automatic control of water sistems in the cleaning step in fresh market tomato packing units. Eng. Agríc. [online]. 2011, vol.31, n.5, pp. 1027-1035. ISSN 0100-6916. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0100-69162011000500020.
Water is a natural resource becoming scarce in many regions. Cleaning fruits and vegetables, generally demands high water consumption. A fresh market tomato packing-line is composed of: receiving, cleaning, sorting, classifying and packing. Normally, the receiving process for tomatoes in a packing line happens in a constant flow, however often interruptions of operators cause loss of water, energy and also fruits cleaning efficiency. The main goal of this study was to develop an automation system for cleaning fruits, with a rational water use. For evaluating cleaning efficiency it was developed a methodology using a turbidimiter. The results showed that the cleaning efficiency index was statistically similar between the two systems; however, water consumption for the automated system was four times lower than the traditional system, suggesting a potential for commercial application on this system.
Keywords : controller; efficiency; water; Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.