Performance Evaluation of an Automatic Tomato Paste-Making Machine
AbstractTomato is a highly perishable fruits that deteriorates faster, hence, the need for immediate processing. Tomato paste is a common processed products mostly done manually that involves drudgery. To reduce drudgery and realize a quality tomato paste, an automatic tomato paste-making machine was developed and evaluated for its performance. The major performance evaluated was the sensory evaluation of the processed tomato paste. The machine was developed from stainless steels and PVC pipes that are non-contaminating local materials. The automatic electronic components were developed by soldering of Integrated Circuits, timers, relays, diodes, thermostats, blenders, heaters and plug in conformity with the designed circuit diagram. The machine was evaluated by running it with no load and when fed with 3 kg tomato fruits at varying steaming and blending times of 3, 4, 6 and 4, 6 and 10 minutes respectively. The sensory evaluation was then conducted through subjective evaluation of a 5-man taste panel employed to evaluate 45 samples of tomato pastes based on their homogeneity and smoothness/coarseness. Results revealed that the automatic components of the machine work satisfactorily to its design purpose. The best tomato pastes certified as extremely good by the panelists were produced at higher steaming time of 6 minutes and blending time of 4, 6 and 10 minutes. It was established that there was correlation of taste quality of tomato with steaming time and as well entwine with the blending time. As the steam time increases, blending becomes easier and quality of paste was also observed to improve.
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