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mahua seed, moisture content, density, hardness
Madhuca longifolia, commonly known as mahua, is an important crop due to its industrial uses and applications of its flower, fruit and seed. The characterisation of mahua seeds is essential for its further processing as well as for the design of post-harvest equipment. Therefore, the aim of the study was to characterise the mahua seed in terms of its physical, mechanical and chemical properties. The physical properties, namely principal dimensions, aspect ratio, sphericity, angle of repose, surface area, densities and frictional properties were determined. Various mechanical properties, which include hardness, deformation at rupture, percentage deformation at rupture, fracturability, 1st fracture at deformation and energy for fracture of the seed were also investigated. The chemical composition such as moisture, protein, oil, carbohydrates and ash content were determined. In this study, it was found that the mean major, intermediate and minor dimensions were 3.04, 1.6 and 1.3 cm at 9.4% (w.b.) moisture content, respectively. The bulk density and true density of the seeds were found to be 381 and 1,481.54 kg/m3, respectively, and the corresponding porosity was 73.96%. Other physical properties were also determined, and their importance is highlighted in the paper. Results show that the average hardness was 40.55 N/mm. The average energy requirement for fracture of the mahua seed was 177.57 N-mm. It was also found that mahua seed contains 40.37%, (w/w) oil and 33.63% protein. These results are very important for designing of post-harvest processing equipment especially in mahua seed decorticator/dehuller and also required for further processing and value addition of these seeds.
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