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ARS Home » Plains Area » Las Cruces, New Mexico » Cotton Ginning Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #390753

Research Project: Improving the Production and Processing of Western and Long-Staple Cotton and Companion Crops to Enhance Quality, Value, and Sustainability

Location: Cotton Ginning Research

Title: Quantifying moisture content in walnut drying bins

item Funk, Paul
item Yeater, Kathleen
item Haff, Ronald - Ron
item Armijo, Carlos
item Whitelock, Derek
item Zhang, Yuzhu

Submitted to: ASABE Annual International Meeting
Publication Type: Other
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/2/2022
Publication Date: 7/20/2022
Citation: Funk, P.A., Yeater, K.M., Haff, R.P., Armijo, C.B., Whitelock, D.P., Zhang, Y. 2022. Quantifying moisture content in walnut drying bins. ASABE Annual International Meeting, July 17-20, 2022, Houston, TX. Presentation only.

Interpretive Summary: This research supports the US walnut industry by increasing fuel use efficiency and thus reducing operating costs. Developing novel approaches to nut drying requires a means to quantify the moisture content of walnuts while they are in a drying system, so moisture content can be accurately measured and drying performance quantified. This paper presents an apparatus and a procedure for high-throughput, high accuracy sampling, processing, and moisture analysis. Statistics are presented that verified that the reported methodology was accurate and precise.

Technical Abstract: We present a novel high-throughput methodology for sampling and in-shell moisture content analysis of walnuts from stationary drying bins. A column with four gate valves at four levels was designed to admit 30 nuts from each opening into buckets lifted with a cable. Nuts were ground and 12 g subsamples oven dried for 2 h to determine moisture content. The methodology was analyzed statistically using coefficient of variation. Coefficients of variation within a bin before drying (n = 12) ranged from 7.3 to 23.1% and averaged 12.2%. The coefficient of variation when subsampling within an individual sample (n = 4) averaged 2.65% for moisture contents ranging from 6 to 47% dry basis.